1823 – Birth of Thomas Francis Meagher aka: “O’Meagher”, or “Meagher of the Sword”, an Irish nationalist and American politician.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

‘I am here to regret nothing I have already done, to retract nothing I have already said. The history of Ireland explains this crime, and justifies it.’ –Thomas Francis Meager

Born the son of Waterford’s mayor, one of the few wealthy Catholic businessmen in town in 1823; Meagher benefited from a quality education (partly in England) during which he won awards for poetry and debating. His passion for Irish nationalism and his temperamental nature led him to join the radical Young Ireland movement. These hot-blooded young revolutionaries had lost patience with elder statesman Daniel O’Connell’s non-violent approach to gaining independence from Britain, and now advocated armed insurrection. Meagher’s fiery speeches earned him the nickname “Meagher of the Sword.”

In 1845, the potato famine (Án Gorta Mor) crippled Ireland, and nationalists like Meagher blamed the tragedy on continued food exports to Britain, then the richest nation on earth. He traveled to…

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