Joseph MacDonagh’s Irish Revolution

Created: December 21, 2020

One of the most brilliant young Irishmen of our day’: Joseph MacDonagh’s Irish Revolution, for Trasna na Tíre (online by Zoom), on 22 December 2020.


Recalled by his peers as an outstanding worker in the Irish revolutionary movement, and owner of a warm, humorous personality, Joseph MacDonagh has remained a forgotten figure of the period. Radicalised by the death of his brother Thomas following the Easter Rising, the younger MacDonagh occupied a number of different roles in this period until his tragic death in 1922: Sinn Féin activist, political prisoner, hunger striker, TD, councilor, Minister for Labour in the Dáil cabinet and newspaper propagandist. A rare tribute over a decade after his death in the Irish Press, led to Joseph MacDonagh being eulogised as ‘one of the most brilliant young Irishmen of our day’.

In the centenary year of MacDonagh’s election to Dublin Corporation and the 98th anniversary of his death (on Christmas day in 1922) this lecture will illuminate many fascinating details of his life and his involvement in the pivotal events of early 20th century Ireland. Gerard Shannon is a native of Skerries in north county Dublin. He recently graduated with an MA in History from the DCU School of History and Geography. He is currently developing a biography of the IRA Chief-of-Staff, General Liam Lynch, for publication by Merrion Press in mid-2021.