Plans have been put in train to link events to commemorate the Waterford birth of 1848 leader and subsequent American Civil War veteran Thomas Francis Meagher and the 1916 centenary commemorations.
The main events will take place from March 4-7 next year and a full programme is being put in place by a 2016 Tricolour Celebration Committee in Waterford.
Meagher was born at the Granville Hotel in Waterford city on August 3, 1823, and later became an Irish nationalist and leader of the Young Irelanders.
He was the first person to raise the green, white and orange tricolour at the Wolfe Tone Confederate Club at 33 The Mall in Waterford but, following the Young Irelanders’ rebellion in 1848, was convicted and sentenced to death.
The punishment was later commuted to transportation to Van Diemen’s Land and, from there, he escaped and travelled to America, where he fought in a number of battles of the Civil War.
One of those battles, Fredericksburg, which took place in December of 1862, was last week remembered in Waterford when the committee commissioned a special cake depicting the event.
The committee also came together in his birthplace, the Granville, to toast the Waterford native’s memory with a new Muldoon whiskey liqueur-based cocktail, named Montana after the state of which Meagher later became governor.
Details of next year’s tricolour celebration will be made available in due course, a spokesman for the 1848 committee said at the weekend. “Needless to say that the 2016 celebrations will also tie in with the 1916 centenary events across the city and the county.”
The 2016 Tricolour Celebration Committee include Ann Cusack, Cllr Eddie Mulligan, James Doherty, Ann Marie Coughlan, Janet Carey, Paul Dower, Jonathan Brazil, John Wells, Mags Durand O’Connor and Michael Garland.
The spokesman said the tricolour raised at 33 The Mall on March 7, 1848, is now synonymous with Ireland and its people, “a flag that is now so proudly flown all over the world and a flag that is instantly recognisable and powerful symbol of Ireland”.
Two years ago, the 1848 committee carried out some genealogical detective work which led to the discovery of Thomas Francis Meagher’s direct living descendent, Gilbert Lee Meagher, 56, who lives in Napa, California, not far from his brother Tim and sister Karren.
A presentation ceremony was then held at which Gilbert Lee Meagher handed over to the city of Waterford Meagher’s battle sword,
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