Sunday 26 May 2019

Time to honour the great Thomas Wright

NOT SO long ago, a former teacher based in Drogheda called John Philip Holland had a wonderful memorial dedicated to him at Scholars Townhouse.

I wonder when will we get around to honouring a man, born and bred at Queensborough, and who became one of the most remarkable freedom fighters history has ever seen.

Born in 1799, Thomas Wright , a son of Thomas Wright and Mary Montgomery, went off to naval college in Portsmouth at the age of 12.

But the years would see him cast aside throughts of joining the British navy, although he did take part in a blockade mission off the American coast at one stage - he went for adventure instead.

He ended up in South America where he met Simon Bolivar and they became friends.

From 1819, he fought in many battles and helped end Spanish rule in 1826.

He went off to Guayaquil that year to live, but the battles followed him and he led Ecuador to independence in 1830 and sent up a naval school, becoming commander of the Ecuadorian navy and governor of Guayaquil.

He was driven into exile in Chile for 15 years after a government overthrow, but returned and was involved in attempts to restore rightful leadership to his country.

He died in 1868 and is still heralded by many in that part of South America.

Maybe this is something that Cara and the team at Beaulieu House could develop into an international event - a Thomas Wright Nautical weekend each year, overlooking the Boyne that inspired him to sail the seas.

Drogheda Independent