Thursday, 20th September 2018
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170th Anniversary of the raising of the first Irish

Tricolour at 33 The Mall, to be celebrated at this year’s 1848 Tricolour Celebration

This year’s 1848 Tricolour Festival Waterford City, celebrates the 170th Anniversary of the raising of the first Irish Tricolour by Thomas Francis Meagher at 33 The Mall, Waterford. Now in it’s 8th year the Irish Tricolour

Celebration continues to gain momentum on national and international levels.

Committee Chairman, Paul Dower commented, "We are delighted to introduce our new programme of events for 2018, this year is a special year for the 1848 Tricolour Celebration and our programme of events will not only include some new additions, but on the Saturday we will move inside Waterford Medieval Museum for a series of intriguing lectures on Thomas Francis Meagher. These talks have been specifically chosen to celebrate Meagher and his part in not only raising the Irish Tricolour for the first time 170 years ago, but for being the inspiration behind it’s very concept."

"The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the "orange" and the "green" and I trust that beneath its folds, the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood..." Thomas Francis Meagher

Who was to guess that 170 years after uttering these words, how relevant that message would still be today’

The 2018 Programme will include: ‘The Blessing of the Bonnets’ on Friday 2nd March. On this occasion we are delighted to welcome Dr. Christina Henri back to Waterford. Dr. Henri has worked on the Bonnet Project to raise awareness of the story of 25,566 women who were transported to Australia. The first wife of Thomas Francis Meagher was Catherine Bennett from Tasmania she left Australia and moved to Waterford where she tragically died of typhus at the Meagher Family home in 1854. Following last years very successful exhibition for the 1848 Tricolour Celebrations, there will be a blessing of the Bonnets at the Meagher Family Grave at Faithlegg Church, County Waterford. Blessing by Fr. Brian Power followed by music and prayers.

Friday evening Sabai Restaurant on the Mall, will host the welcome dinner for members of the 69th Infantry Regiment, New York which will include an historic talk by James Doherty. Members of the Naval Reserve will in return visit New York in March to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade alongside the 69th Infantry.

Saturday morning there will be a range of ‘Fringe Activities’ organised for visitors to Waterford, this will be an activity and sightseeing opportunity for those who wish to use their time here to enjoy the best of what Waterford has to offer.

In the afternoon there will be an exciting lecture series held in the Medieval Museum and will include: The Memoirs of General Thomas Francis Meagher: from manuscript to print’. Professor Padraig O’ Macha’in, Professor of Modern Irish, University College, Cork. The Death of Thomas Francis Meagher’. Dr Martin Hearne, author and editor of Thomas Francis Meagher: The Making of an Irish-American. The Legacy of Meagher and Modern Ireland’ Noel Whelan, author, barrister, Irish Times columnist.

This years 1848 Tricolour Celebrations Event will welcome Embassy Representatives and a number of VIPs to the City. There will be a significant number of military personnel from the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, New York and their current Commander Lieutenant Colonel Don Makay. A visiting contingent of veterans will attend specifically for the Celebration and the The Gala Dinner on the Saturday the 3rd March in the Granville Hotel (Birthplace of Thomas Francis Meagher). Guests will be welcomed to the dinner with music from ‘The Island of Ireland Peace Choir’. This year we are delighted to welcome Professor Willie Donnelly, President of Waterford Institute of Technology as our Guest Speaker.

On Sunday 4th March at 12.15pm there will be a wreath laying ceremony at ‘The Clooney Monument’ at Ballybricken Church. The Monument is dedicated to Captain Patrick Clooney of the 88th Irish Brigade New York. Following this event the main Flag Raising ceremony will take place outside the House of Waterford Crystal, on The Mall. This will now be at the earlier time of 1.00pm and will be attended by dignitaries and Embassy Representatives, members of the Irish Defence and US Armed Forces, Military Veteran Associations and musical accompaniment from Thomas Francis Meagher Fife and Drum Band and the Barrack Street Concert Band.

As with every other year this entire weekend will be supported by a week long schools education series, which will see Thomas Francis Meagher visit hundreds of local school children. The promotion of the symbolism of the Irish Flag, is the theme of these visits and in this anniversary year, students will receive protocol information on the Irish Tricolour and a souvenir bookmark featuring a timeline of Thomas Francis Meaghers Life.

We look forward to a very busy weekend from the 2nd to the 4th of March, where once again Waterford City will celebrate this very significant event in Ireland’s history on the 170th anniversary.

Further information can be found at; and on Facebook; The 1848 Tricolour Celebration is supported through the Waterford Council Festival Grants Scheme and Waterford City and County Council.


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