A tribute by Republican Sinn Féin to Dan Hoban, a lifelong republican and a former internee in the Curragh internment camp, where he was married.
Republicans throughout Ireland and abroad were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death on November 14 of Dan Hoban, Veteran Republican from Newport, Co Mayo at the age of 87.
Dan was an active Republican for more than seven decades. Born in Castlebar into a Republican family (two aunts were leading members of Cumann na mBan and the family home was a safe house for Republicans during the War of Independence and Cogadh na Brathairí) he moved to his mother’s hometown of Newport in the 1950s.
He was deeply involved in Republican activity during the Resistance Campaign of the 1950s and one report in the Mayo News in 1957 describes how Dan, his brother-in-law and a third man were lifted in dawn raids at their homes in Newport, to be interned in the Curragh.
Dan was due to marry Teresa Murray from Rossclave, Newport and Teresa, a Mayo camogie star, travelled to the internment camp and the wedding went ahead there. Dan Hoban was granted two weeks parole for the wedding.
Dan, along with Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, Daithí Ó Conaill, Billy McKee and others played a key role in the reorganisation of the Republican Movement in 1969/70. In the 1970s he was OC of the Republican Prisoners in the Glasshouse in the Curragh in 1973 and later in Portlaoise Prison. On release he returned to Republican activity.
Dan was active at all levels of the war against the British occupation of the Six Counties. He travelled the length and breadth of the country along with his great friend Ruairí Ó Brádaigh organising and working for the Republican struggle. He believed that no man was bigger than the struggle and always rejected compromise and constitutionalism.
In 1986 Dan stood firm for the All-Ireland Republic and rejected those betrayed the sacrifices of all those who gave their lives and freedom to bring about the end of British rule in Ireland.
Dan was a familiar figure at Republican events. He normally chaired the CABHAIR Testimonial Dinner where Republican veterans are honoured for their service to the Republican Movement. He spoke and chaired the H-Block/Armagh commemoration in Bundoran, Co Donegal on several occasions and was the keynote speaker at the Wolfe Tone Commemoration in Bodenstown, Co Kildare on one occasion. Dan chaired the 2021 commemoration.
He was an inspirational figure to people of all ages, particularly to the younger generation,
Dan was a passionate supporter of the GAA, especially the Mayo team.
The Mayo News published a recent interview with Dan and said:
“Dan Hoban is as firm in his Republican views now as the man interned in the Curragh all those years ago. When Sinn Féin split in 1986, with Gerry Adams and [Provisional] Sinn Féin abandoning the policy of abstentionism in Leinster House and Stormont, agreeing to take up seats at both parliaments, Hoban went with Ruairí Ó Brádaigh in what became Republican Sinn Féin. A close associate of the late Ó Brádaigh – indeed Dan Hoban gave the graveside oration at his funeral in 2013 – Hoban remains committed to a 32-county republic.
“One phrase regularly peppers the conversation when talking about different figures down through the years – ‘stayed true to the republic’. When Dan Hoban says this, he talks about those who did not recognise the 26-County Ireland or recognise, for that matter Dáil Éireann as it was formed and is currently constituted. He would consider anything less than a 32-county republic to be a capitulation.”
Dan Hoban was as firm in his Republican views at the end of his long life as the man interned in the Curragh all those years ago. He will be very deeply missed by all his comrades in the Republican Movement. Deepest sympathy is extended to his wife Teresa, to his sons, daughters, grandchildren, comrades and friends.
I measc Laochra na bhFiníní go raibh sé.