Biography of Daniel Long

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.

View the Census forms for the Longs of Scrahan in 1911
View the Census forms for the Hickeys of Scrahan in 1911

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.

4 thoughts on “Biography of Daniel Long”

  1. Mark,

    I would advise you to consult the following historical journals in your research on Dan Long.

    1] Cumann Sliabh Luachra and

    2] Seanchas Duthalla

    Both of these excellent series of publications – some going back to the 1970s chronicle lfe in the North Cork , East Kerry area. The old Gaelic name for the area is Sliabh Luachra . Knocknagree village is on the County Boundary between Cork and Kerry right at the heart of Sliabh Luachra. The various editions while not exclusively focussing on Knocknagree – but some editions will have specific items of interest to Knocnagree – will give you a vivid flavour of life, its customs and people in the late 19th to the mid 20th Century. Of the two the Sliabh Luachra publictions may be more appropriate. Mr Sean Radley of Millstreet Museum, or the Cork and Kerry County Council Library Services should be able to guide you. It may be appropriate to buy a complete set of the various editions especially Sliabh Luachra for your Union collections -Sean Radley can advise.

    Jerry Kelleher

  2. Many thanks Jerry for assisting the Historian from New Zealand. Yes the publications which you mention are excellent sources. While copies of back editions are available not all are now in print. However, libraries are likely to have quite complete collections….Seán Radley (Curator, Millstreet Museum)

  3. Hello Jeremy!

    How very nice to hear from you.

    Regarding Dan Long, I’m afraid I can be of no help there. I knew him of course, but only marginally. I seem to recall that at the time of the Listener affair Dan was in poor health. I did know Margaret who was supportive, although she – like everyone else – felt helpless about doing anything about it.

    I’ll try to copy this message to Mark Derby who has a post on the Net calling for help. I don’t know whether Mark plans a visit here to check on the Irish background. One idea (although he has probably thought about it anyway) is to identify the parish church in the locality and, if it still exists, get the name and (email) address of the parish priest. There could be records, including photographs, stashed away in the area.

    It would be very nice to pay another visit Downunder (other friends cite the footie as a prime reason to make the trek!) but in my dotage I continue as Professor of Journalism in Boston University’s British Programme and currently have a bunch of clever kids hanging on one or two of my syllables.

    Gabriella and I hope all is well with you and Diana. Do let us stay in touch.



  4. looking for any relative of Michael mahony or Mahoney born 19dec 1851 at umeraboy knocknagree co cork parish boherboy district millstreet also brothe r john mahony born 10jul 1863 whowent to new Zealand or Australia about 1890 they were my grand uncles denis oconnor

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