On Tuesday 15th March, members of the school community gathered to raise our national flag. As we did so we remembered Thomas Francis Meagher, who flew the flag for the first time on 7th March 1848.
Thomas Francis Meagher
Thomas Francis Meagher, a leader of the Young Irelanders, flew the tricoloured flag for the first time on March 7th 1848 at the mall in Waterford City, our oldest city established by the Vikings. Thomas Francis Meagher wanted a new Ireland where Catholics and Protestants would join together and push forward for independence from Great Britain.
Thomas Francis Meagher and the Young Irelanders were inspired by other revolutionary movements across Europe. Thomas Francis Meagher and other Young Irelanders travelled to Paris to congratulate the French on overthrowing King Louis Philippe. While they were there a group of French women wove an Irish tricolour flag made from the finest French silk and presented that flag to Thomas Francis Meagher. Back in Dublin on April 15th 1848 Thomas Francis Meagher presented this silk flag to the citizens of Ireland, and said “The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the orange and the green.”
The flag was flown from the top of the GPO in Dublin during the Rising in 1916. The flag was later used by the IRA during the Irish War of Independence. After independence in 1922 the flag was used by the Irish Free State. The flag was included in the 1937 Constitution.
Finally, to quote Thomas Francis Meagher,