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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Michael Keogh


Michael Keogh, a policeman’s son from Tullow, Co. Carlow. His story has recently come to light with the publication of his extraordinary memoirs, “With Casement’s Irish Brigade”. In these pages, Keogh reveals how he saved the German dictators life, only to narrowly avoid execution by Hitler’s henchman during the “Night of the Long Knives.” He managed to slip out of sight twenty minutes before his would-be assassins arrived.

Less fortunate that fateful night was Keogh’s former commander Ernst Roehm who, as leader of the paramilitary Storm Troopers, had helped Hitler secure power. Roehm and Hitler subsequently fell out. Keogh estimates that Roehm was one of 5,000 “political opponents” dragged from their homes and executed.

As Hitler’s Germany slowly goaded the rest of the world into the deadliest war in our history, Keogh must have had good cause to reflect on how he should have just let the angry soldiers finish off the troublesome agent back in 1919.

But when Michael Keogh began to compile his memoirs during the late 1920s, he had many things to reflect upon. His life had been exceedingly adventurous practically since his birth in Tullow in 1891.

He came from rebellious stock. His Wexford forbears were killed in the 1798 Rebellion. His grandfather Mathew Keogh led the resistance during the infamous Coolgreany Evictions in Co. Wexford in 1887. His great-uncle Myles Keogh was Colonel Custer’s second-in-command and died at the Battle of Little Big Horn. His uncle Jack Tynan was a Fenian who tried to blow up Westminster Bridge. His father Laurence Keogh (sometimes Kehoe) was an officer in the Royal Irish Constabulary.

Michael grew up in Tullow and, at the age of 14, won a County Council scholarship to the seminary school of St Patrick's Monastery. Between 1903 and 1906 he was a member of the O'Growney Branch of the Gaelic League in Tullow and competed in singing and dancing. In 1907, he sailed for New York to live with his aunt Mary Keogh. He joined the National Guard, became a member of Clan-na-Gael in New York and befriended Sir Roger Casement. Their paths would cross again in Germany during the war.

Michael Keogh died in Sept 1964, and his widow Annamarie, died in Tallacht Ireland in the 1980's.


Michael Keogh. Private 10687 in Royal Irish Regiment.

Annamarie Von Seuffert and Michael Keogh in formal wedding photograph c.1918

They went on to have 6 children, Roger Casement Keogh,  Joseph Plunkett Keogh, and Kevin Barry Keogh, the three daughters, Rosaline, Margaret (Renee), Annamarie. Only Roger, Kevin and Renee are living in 2010.


The information contained in these pages is provided solely for the  purpose of sharing with others researching their ancestors in Ireland.
© 2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects, IGP TM

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