THE GOVERNOR OF Montana, Brian Schweitzer, is to travel to Waterford to be guest of honour in this year’s 1848 Tricolour Celebrations.
The celebrations mark the birth of the Irish tricolour in the city, where the flag was first flown by local man Thomas Francis Meagher.
Unveiling the tricolour 164 years ago, Meagher shared his vision of a peaceful and equal Ireland – stating that the orange and green symbolised a truce between Protestants and Catholics.
Born in Waterford City in 1823, Meagher was exiled to Tasmania for sedition the same year he flew the flag. He escaped to United States three years later, where he became a founder of the Irish Brigade in New York, fought for the Union against slavery in the American Civil War, and led the field of battle as Brigadier General in several famous battles.
At the end of his extraordinary and short life, he became the first governor of the state that is now Montana.
During the 1848 Tricolour Celebration in March 2011, the Irish Flag was flown over the State Capitol in Montana by the Thomas Francis Meagher Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernia. In response, the Mayor of Waterford Pat Hayes invited the Governor of Montana to the 2012 celebrations as a special guest to preside over the flag raising ceremony.
“We were absolutely thrilled with the recognition the State of Montana has given to our celebrations here in Waterford and we wanted to thank them in an appropriate fashion,” Cian Foley, chair of the 1848 Tricolour Committee said. “We felt that inviting the Governor as a special honoured guest would be the best way to do that.”
All the events for the celebration run from the 9th – 11th of March and Beat-102 103 will be broadcasting live from L.E. Aoife on Saturday 10 March from midday to 3pm.
The 1848 Tricolour Celebration aims to commemorate Meagher’s vision of a peaceful Ireland, and involves marches, music, and speeches at 33 The Mall, Waterford City between March 9th and 11th.