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Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867) was a leader of the Young Ireland Rebellion of 1848 and prominent member of the Irish Confederation, which split from the Repeal Association of Daniel O’Connell following a famous and controversial speech given by Meagher, defending armed force as a last resort, the speech today is known as “The Sword Speech” and prompted Meagher and the rest of the Young Irelanders to leave Reconciliation Hall once the speech was suppressed by Daniel’s son John. Meagher is also credited for the first use of the Irish Tricolour, having been given it as a gift by a group of French women sympathetic to the Irish cause. Following a death sentence for his role in the 1848 rebellion later commuted to deportation to Van Diemen’s Land, Meagher became a prominent Union general in the American Civil War before dying in 1867 having drowned in the Missouri River in disputed circumstances.

Writings

On The Union (1846)

English Liberal Government in Ireland (1846)

Irish Youth and English Whiggery (1846)

The Sword Speech (1846)

Speech From The Dock (1848)