Thomas MacDonagh

Last Updated On February 09, 2018
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Thomas MacDonagh

Thomas MacDonagh

Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916) was born at Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary and was one of the
signatories of the 1916 Proclamation. He was educated at Rockwell College, Cashel and received
a BA from University College, Dublin (then located at Stephen's Green) in 1908. The same year
saw him become assistant lecturer of English Literature at that college. He also helped Padraig
Pearse found St Enda's college at Rathfarnham, Dublin the same year. In 1911,MacDonagh
received his MA.

MacDonagh was prominent in the Dublin Volunteers. He organised the Howth gun-running project
on 'the Asgard' in July 1914 and the funeral of the veteran Fenian O'Donovan Rossa in the
following year.

On Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, MacDonagh assembled about 150 men at Stephen's Green.
He then led the 2nd Battalion to Jacob's factory which was one of the main buildings held in
Dublin city during the Rising. He had also men posted in buildings in nearby Camden St, Wexford
St and Aungier St, supported by some members of Fianna Eireann and Cumann na mBan.Within
hours of taking over Jacob's factory, MacDonagh's men routed a company of soldiers from
Portobello Barracks and the surrounding streets. The garrison reluctantly surrendered on Sunday,
30th April. This was one day after the unconditional surrender by Pearse.


MacDonagh was later courtmartialled and sentenced to death for his part in the Rising. He was one of the first three leaders executed with Padraig Pearse and Thomas Clarke at Kilmainham Jail on 3rd May 1916.