The Jackie Clarke Collection | Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 5pm | Free Admission

Thursday, 11 March 2021 12:55

Thomas MacDonagh

Poet, writer, scholar, revolutionary & signatory of the 1916 Proclamation, Thomas MacDonagh, was born in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary 1st February 1868.

Pictured below is a unique and rare item contained within the Jackie Clarke Collection; a first edition (published 1906) of a book of MacDonagh’s poems entitled ‘The Golden Joy’.

The book contains an inscription in MacDonagh’s hand, gifting the book to his younger brother Joseph. Thomas and Joe, along with a third brother, John, fought side by side at Jacob’s Mills garrison during Easter Week 1916.

Joseph MacDonagh- a significant yet often overlooked personality in early twentieth century Irish political life- served as a TD for Tipperary in the 1919 First Dáil, retaining his seat in the 1921 Elections.

He was director of the ‘Belfast Boycott’ of 1920-21, a campaign which aimed to boycott goods from Ulster that were being imported into the south of Ireland.

He was known to peers and colleagues as a tireless worker, a sharp mind and a jovial, quick-witted character.

Joe, like the majority of ‘1916 Relatives’, opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. He was imprisoned by Free State forces in Kilmainham Gaol in 1922 during the Irish Civil War, where he embarked on hunger strike in protest against the harsh treatment of Republican prisoners.

Having previously been on hunger strike (including the 1918 strike on which Thomas Ashe died), Joe often suffered ill- health, and his condition deteriorated quickly.

Given the prominence of the MacDonagh family name, Joe was transferred to the Mater Hospital.

Sadly, he died on there Christmas Day 1922- adding greatly indeed to the poignancy of this special item in the Collection.

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The Jackie Clarke Collection
Pearse Street, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland

T: + 353 (0)96 73508

Opening Times

Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Entrance is located at the side of the building on Walsh Street.