One of the last major infrastructural projects to be unveiled in Ireland in recent years is to be named after the patriot who first raised the green, white and orange tricolour which became our national flag.
The bridge, which spans the river Suir outside Waterford and was opened in 2009, will be named the Thomas Francis Meagher Bridge, in honour of the man who played a key role in the 1848 rebellion before being transported abroad and ending up as a friend of President Lincoln and governor of Montana.
The decision was backed by the 1848 Tricolour Celebration Committee on foot of a motion submitted by the mayor of the city and county, James Tobin, and passed by the local council.
Chair of the committee Ann Cusack said they were “absolutely thrilled” the idea had been supported both by Waterford City and County Council and Kilkenny County Council.
This year will see the fifth annual event held by the 1848 committee to mark the significance of Thomas Francis Meagher in Irish and American history. “We have seen the importance of the celebration grow exponentially every year,” Ms Cusack said yesterday.
“Our celebration continues to be supported by a number of ambassadors and embassies from the US, Canada, France, Australia, and the UK. Such is the importance of Thomas Francis Meagher to the US 69th Infantry Division (New York), or the Fighting 69th as it has become known due to the Meagher connection, that every year a high-level delegation come to Waterford to celebrate the raising of the first ever tricolour, by Thomas Francis Meagher, on March 7,1848, at 33 The Mall.”
The river Suir bridge is part of the N25 Waterford bypass and the longest single-span bridge in the Republic .
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