Dear Friends, I’m a historian from Wellington, NZ, commissioned to write a biography of Daniel Long, who was head of the Public Service Association, this country’s largest public sector union, from 1960 until his death in 1976.
Both of Dan Long’s parents migrated from Cork just after World War One, and this message is an attempt to find out something of their early life in Ireland. Their names were Timothy Long and Catherine Mary Hickey until their marriage in about 1919.
I have found their family’s forms in the 1911 online census data. These tell me that they both lived in a townland called Scrahan in northern Cork, near a larger village called Knocknagree. Both came from farming backgrounds and had minimal formal education. Both families were Catholic.
I am hoping that your society can put me in touch with information on social conditions in the Knocknagree region around WW1. Even if this information doesn’t deal with the families specifically, a general idea of the place and times they lived in would be very valuable.
For example:- I would be glad to learn anything about the landscape around Scrahan today and how it has changed in the past 100 years.- What kind of farming was practised there before WW1?- Was this district notable for Republican sympathies? Tim Long served in the British Army in WW1, received an officer’s commission, and married his young bride just after his discharge, possibly while still in uniform.Would this have aroused admiration or anger among his neighbours?- Are there any traditions, legends, customs, landmarks, notable inhabitants or other distinctive features of the Scrahan-Knocknagree area, both around the beginning of the 20th century and today?
I am writing this biography with the full support of the Long family, including that of Dan Long’s widow Margaret, now aged in her 80s. So I believe that if any descendants of the Long or Hickey families still live around Scrahan, they would be happy to supply information for this project – however, I have no contacts for such people. Sincerely, Mark DerbyWellington, NZPh. +64-4-973 8900
—— Some Notes
* Dan Long has a Library named after him in Wellington
* In his memory the PSA set up a Trust in 1977. One of the objectives was:
The establishment, maintenance and expansion of a memorial Trade Union
library in Wellington for the purposes of study research and instruction
including (but not limited to) the provision, acceptance and custody of
books, periodicals, publications, papers, films, recordings and other
literature, materials and facilities relating to trade union matters and
allied subjects, with special reference to certain special interests of the
late Daniel Patrick Francis Long such as (by way of example only) –
International trade unionism, the role of salary and wages earners in the
Asian and Pacific region, the role of women in society, and trade union
From 1978 until the 1990’s under the care of devoted library staffii the
Library grew to be an outstanding resource. It aimed to provide unionists
with library services comparable to those available to business and
government enterprises, and by 1999 there were over 11,000 items
catalogued, including articles, videos, monographs, posters, current and
closed journal titles and ‘vertical’ subject files.