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Commemorative plaque for Muriel MacDonagh to be considered for Skerries

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Muriel MacDonagh

Muriel MacDonagh

Muriel and Thomas MacDonagh

Muriel and Thomas MacDonagh

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Muriel MacDonagh

fingalindependent

A commemorative plaque is to be considered for South Strand Skerries for Muriel MacDonagh, who died in 1917, wife of leading Irish Republican Thomas MacDonagh.

Former Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seana Ó’Rodaigh (LAB) tabled a motion at a recent Local Area Committee meeting calling for Ms MacDonagh to be commemorated.

Telling the committee she had this motion “for quite some while”, Cllr Ó’Rodaigh explained that when she was Mayor of Fingal, she had been approached by Mr Peter Rooney, who made the suggestion to her.

An activist in her own right, Ms MacDonagh was the wife of leading Irish Republican Thomas MacDonagh, and died tragically off the coast of Skerries in 1917.

Ms MacDonagh left behind a son and daughter as orphans, having lost their father the year before.

According to Cllr Ó’Rodaigh, Mr Rooney approached her when she was Mayor and stressed the importance of commemorating Ms MacDonagh.

A commemorative event was held in Skerries on June 15 2022, she said, and Mr Rooney, who had sourced a plaque himself, put it temporarily in place at the Strand.

What Cllr Ó’Rodaigh was asking the council for, she said, was a permanent plaque to commemorate Ms MacDonagh.

Cllr Ó’Rodaigh said it was very important to remember such a sad time in our history, and to remember the life of Ms MacDonagh.

She noted Ms MacDonagh’s granddaughter and family had attended the event in June of this year, and that they were very moved by the gesture.

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Cllr Ó’Rodaigh explained to the committee that Ms MacDonagh did not drown, instead an autopsy had found she died of heart failure at the age of 31, one year after her husband, Thomas MacDonagh died.

Supporting the motion, Cllr Cathal Boland (NP) said that Peter Rooney must be congratulated for taking the initiative of sourcing and securing a plaque for Ms MacDonagh.

He said there was a “flaw” in the current system, in that even councillors were not aware of the process involved in securing a commemorative plaque.

"Totally and absolutely” supporting the motion, Cllr Boland said he would fully support Cllr Ó’Rodaigh’s request.

With the motion passed, the provision of a plaque for Muriel MacDonagh will be referred to the Naming and Commemorative Memorial Committee for consideration.  

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