The Centenary Weekend will include talks on the life and legacy of Joe MacDonagh – a prominent politician in post-1916 Ireland who died 100 years ago in December 1922 – and in particular his political career and influence during the development of Ireland from 1916 to 1922 and his contribution to the fight for Irish freedom.
The programme will be of interest to a wide audience including historically curious Leaving Cert and TY students, undergraduate and graduate students, history teachers and those who would like to develop their interest in history and local history, heritage and culture.
Joseph MacDonagh Centenary Weekend highlights include:
Friday, September 23, 8pm-10pm – The launch of ‘Tipperary in the Decade of Revolution’s Illustrated Biography of Joseph MacDonagh, written by Gerard Shannon. This free event is hosted by the ‘Tipperary in the Decade of Revolution’ Committee as part of Culture Night 2022.
Saturday, September 24, 10am-4.30pm – Programme of talks, with registration open from 9am:
- ‘The greatest young Irishman of his day: The life of Joseph MacDonagh’ – Keynote address by writer and Centenary Weekend Director Gerard Shannon on the extraordinary revolutionary career of Joseph MacDonagh – TD, city councillor, Minister for Labour, political activist, and political prisoner.
- ‘Impossible for a Belfast merchant to sell as much as a bootlace in any other part of Ireland’ – An analysis by writer and historian Cormac Moore of Joseph MacDonagh’s role as Director of the Belfast Boycott in 1921.
- ‘Internment during the Civil War’ – An exploration by librarian and historian Anne Marie McInerney on the nature of internment during the Irish Civil War including treatment, conditions, and post-internment issues for prisoners.
- ‘The Civil War in County Tipperary – a Brief Overview’ – An overview by writer and historian Denis Marnane of events in county Tipperary during the Civil War of 1922-23.
- Closing Remarks – by Dr. Joe MacDonagh, grandson of Joseph MacDonagh and grand nephew of Thomas MacDonagh.
Sunday, September 25, 11am-3pm – A War of Independence Bus Tour hosted by renowned local historian John Flannery will highlight points of interest in north Tipperary which were affected by the War. Starting and ending in Cloughjordan, the tour will visit sites in Moneygall, Roscrea, Shinrone, Borrisokane and Modreeny.
This project has received funding as part of the Tipperary Commemorations programme with funding from Tipperary County Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
The Joseph MacDonagh Centenary Weekend marks the first event in the Thomas MacDonagh Museum’s History School. The annual programme will be led by historians and academics, who will invite you to explore specific historical figures, periods and events.
Joseph MacDonagh Centenary Weekend
Friday, September 23rd, 8pm-10pm
Saturday, September 24th 10am-4.30pm (registration opens 9am)
Sunday, September 25th, 11am-2pm
Weekend ticket – €27.50 plus booking fee (includes the Joseph MacDonagh Centenary Talks, War of Independence Bus Tour, Saturday lunch, coffee and tea)
Friday only ticket – €0, Culture Night book launch, free but registration recommended
Saturday only ticket – €12.50 plus booking fee (includes the Joseph MacDonagh Centenary Talks, lunch, coffee and tea)
Sunday only ticket – €15 plus booking fee (includes the War of Independence Bus Tour)
Tickets are available online via Eventbrite: https://joseph-macdonagh-centenary-weekend.eventbrite.com
Joseph MacDonagh – In 1934, a retrospective on Joseph MacDonagh’s life in the Irish Press called him ‘the greatest young Irishman of his day’. Incredibly, this remains the only major retrospective of this extraordinary – though forgotten – figure of the Irish Revolution. So much more than the youngest sibling of a signatory of the 1916 Proclamation, Joseph, or ‘Joe’ as he was affectionately called by his friends, was a major player in the Irish revolutionary movement.
After the execution of his brother Thomas, Joe used his formidable skills to occupy a number of key roles in the fight for Irish independence, including political activist, TD, Minister for Labour, propagandist, city councillor and political prisoner. Taking the anti-Treaty side of the Civil War, his death following an illness during his final imprisonment in the midst of the conflict did much to obscure his historical legacy.
Gerard Shannon – As Honorary Director of the Joseph MacDonagh Centenary Weekend, and author of a new booklet on Joseph MacDonagh’s life, Gerard Shannon will deliver the keynote address on the extraordinary revolutionary career of Joseph MacDonagh: TD, city councillor, Minister for Labour, political activist, and political prisoner.
Gerard is a historian from Skerries in north county Dublin, with an MA in History from DCU. In 2017, he organised the Muriel MacDonagh Centenary Weekend, marking one hundred years since the tragic death of Thomas MacDonagh’s widow in Skerries. In March 2023, Merrion Press will publish his biography on Liam Lynch, the IRA Chief-of-Staff.
Cormac Moore – Writer and historian Dr Cormac Moore joins the Joseph MacDonagh Centenary Weekend to provide an analysis of Joseph MacDonagh’s role as Director of the Belfast Boycott in 1921 when it was most rigorously pursued, and an overall assessment of the effectiveness of the boycott as a means to thwart Belfast and northern business interests, and damage partition.
Cormac is a historian with Dublin City Council on its Decade of Commemorations Programme. He has a PhD from De Montfort University in Leicester. He is the author of Birth of the Border: The Impact of Partition in Ireland (2019), The Irish Soccer Split (2015) and The GAA V Douglas Hyde: The Removal of Ireland’s First President as GAA Patron (2012). He is currently writing a book on Laois and the Irish Revolution and is an editor of the upcoming Atlas of Irish Sport.
Anne Marie McInerney – Librarian at Dublin City Libraries Anne Marie McInerneywill explore the nature of internment during the Irish Civil War, including treatment, conditions, and post-internment issues for prisoners.
Anne Marie McInerney has a PhD in modern Irish history and is working on a publication based on military internment in the Irish Civil War.
Denis Marnane – Author Denis Marnane will offer a detailed overview of events in the county of Tipperary during the Civil War of 1922-23.
Dr Denis G. Marnane is the author of The Civil War in County Tipperary (2021) and The 3rd Brigade (2018).
Joe MacDonagh – Dr MacDonagh is the grandson of Joseph MacDonagh and grand nephew of Thomas MacDonagh. By profession he is a registered psychologist and lecturer.