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Thomas Francis Meagher of The Sword

ByMichelle Moloney KingThomas Francis Meagher

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My mother is a Maher, growing up we’d read the family tree of a Sunday and the only person of real interest was an Irish rebel leader, poet and passionate speech giver - Thomas Francis Meagher. I internalised his plea for Ireland to be seen as an island of talented artisans and to be treated better. He wrote for Ireland and fought for Ireland, and American, 200 years later he has more followers on social media than most! What was it about him that was so special? Why did the Americans adore him so much? Let’s find out why from his own speech. The speech Meagher gave that day is one of the most famous in Irish history. An eyewitness said: "He warmed on his subject, and the warmth became contagious; until when he rose to the height of his theme there appeared to be but one heart in the meeting, and it beat in accord with the orator." This last part of the speech, as Meagher gave Young Ireland's reasons for not renouncing the possibility of using the sword, would stick in the minds of those listening and earn him his nickname. Read some of these lines now, and imagine the scene in that hall, as a twenty-two year old's voice rose up and held a massive crowd enthralled. But first, let me tell you a bit about the man. Thomas Francis Meagher, born in Waterford, Ireland in 1823, an Irish nationalist and leader of the Young Irelanders in the Rebellion of 1848, a revolutionary group formed in the middle of the nineteenth century. Its leaders included William Smith O’Brien, John Mitchel, Thomas Meaghar, Charles Gavan Duffy, Thomas Davis and John Dillon. In 1842, the Young Irelanders started a newspaper called The Nation, which called for Irish self government. Meagher's fiery speeches earned him the nickname "Meagher of the sword." Meagher was not really a military man, however; he was a politician and a great orator.


Publication Date
Nov 15, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
Edited by: Michelle Moloney King, Original author: Thomas Francis Meagher, Edited by: Cashel Press, Edited by: Beir Bua Press


Perfect Bound
Interior Color
Black & White
A5 (5.83 x 8.27 in / 148 x 210 mm)

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