Sunday 26 February 2017

Joe Kennedy: Thomas Francis Meagher deserves his place among Ireland's heroic pantheon

Joe Kennedy

A painting of Thomas Francis Meagher. Photo: Patrick Browne
A painting of Thomas Francis Meagher. Photo: Patrick Browne
A plaque at the house in Waterford where Meagher was arrested. Photo: Patrick Browne
Congressman Joe Kennedy and his wife in front of the 69th Regiment’s banner

I grew up in a family where we thought of Ireland as the neighbouring parish. Standing on the beach at Cape Cod and looking out over the Atlantic, it was easy to imagine the crowded ships that brought our family to these shores.

My family was from Wexford, just next door to Waterford, whose most famous son, Thomas Francis Meagher, led an astonishing life, crossing not just the Atlantic but seas around the globe in pursuit of liberty and prosperity for all.

To be a part of the Meagher Foundation and its work to teach the history of the Irish Tricolour and Meagher's extraordinary contribution to the great causes of his time and ours - freedom, equality and justice - is a great privilege.

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