“I recently participated in the ground-breaking to start construction on the Thomas MacDonagh centre in Cloughjordan. I was very impressed with this development project which was brought forward at community level and is a very appropriate Centenary initiative. It is immediately local, strongly rooted in the community and yet it will be appreciated by all students and visitors with an interest in the revolutionary period. It will be a very welcome addition to the national commemorative framework for the coming decade.”Opening address: Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht at the opening of the 18th Byrne/Perry Summer School 2012. The approaching centenary of the Easter Rising in 2016 provides a time to reflect on the quality of the freedom and independence which we enjoy today. Noble ideals motivated the action in 1916, when men and women of a suppressed and occupied land took arms against the British Empire. We prepare to celebrate their leadership and sacrifice. ‘No words can appraise fully the rare make-up of their individual personalities. All for one, one for all – every noble sentiment was fostered...’ wrote the editor of the Capuchin Annual in his 1966 commemorative article. Cloughjordan will focus on the many aspects and narratives on its native son, Thomas MacDonagh. In speaking about her father, on a visit to Cloughjordan, Barbara MacDonagh Redmond said, “Thomas would have put Education as the primary object of his life... His primary objects were an open mind, the educated community.” The Centre will honour his memory in developing the library and Heritage Centre as a place of learning. The legacy of Thomas’ writings, poetry and translations is a rich resource. His cherished memories of the beauty of nature in Cloughjordan and the surrounding area, recorded in his poetry, brought solace and peace to his turbulent thoughts. The people of Tipperary can be proud of their county so loved by Thomas. In the years leading up to 2016 let the spirit of Thomas MacDonagh create a sense of place so that we can join with Ireland Reaching Out in welcoming home Tipperary descendants worldwide.
In 2012 the sod was officially turned on the construction of this centre by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht: