John MacDonagh (1880-1961) was the second eldest brother to Thomas MacDonagh, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. He was also raised in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary. He joined the Irish Volunteers in Tipperary town in 1914. Later that year, he came to live in Dublin when he co—founded the lrish Theatre with Joseph Mary Plunkett and his brother, Thomas.
John MacDonagh produced and acted in several productions, including comedies of his own composition, at the Irish Theatre. Although a member of the 3rd battalion of the DublinBrigade, he switched to the 2nd battalion led by his brother Thomas just before the Rising. John MacDonagh fought in the Easter Rising under Thomas’s commanding the Jacob’s factory after which he was imprisoned in Knutsford Jail, England and later in Frongach, Wales.
John MacDonagh was released from Frongach in August 1916. He directed a short propaganda film advertising the republican loan bonds in 1919. These featured Michael collins and other members of the first Dáil. In later life, he worked with Radio Éireann.