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  • Northside West

Mayor launches new GPO exhibition

Saturday, 25th May, 2019 7:00pm
Mayor launches new GPO exhibition

Eileen Daly at the launch of the exhibition. Photo: Paul Sherwood

Mayor launches new GPO exhibition

Eileen Daly at the launch of the exhibition. Photo: Paul Sherwood

THE GPO Witness History Visitor Centre has had a new exhibition launched by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring.

The exhibition commemorates the honour of a plaque that was donated to the Washington Monument, on the National Mall in Washington DC, on behalf of the people of Ireland.

The Washington Monument received the commemorative plaque from the people of Ireland in 2016 as recognition of the long and enduring relationship between Ireland and the United States.

The plaque is hung among the 193 commemorative and memorial stones received from all 50 states as well as scores of fraternal and community organisations and cities and towns across America.

The plaque refers to Thomas F Meagher as the embodiment of the links between Ireland and the United States of America and acknowledges that he fought for the ideals of both nations along with creating the national flag of Ireland, which was raised again during the 1916 Rising.

Only 16 other countries have a plaque in the Washington monument. The majority of stones were received between 1849 and 1855, although the most recent donation was accepted in 1982 (from the state of Alaska).

Memorial stones are now accepted only in very rare circumstances, such as the admission of a new state to the country or replacement of a previously donated stone.

Opening the exhibition at the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre on Monday Lord Mayor Ring spoke about his deep affinity for the GPO and what it means to the city of Dublin, as his own Grandfather whose Grandfather Joseph Ring and his four Granduncles Christopher, Liam, Patrick and Leo fought in the GPO during the 1916 Rising.

“In my last month as Lord Mayor I am honoured to be dedicating this exhibition, which commemorates not only Thomas F Meagher and the Irish Flag but also the strong and enduring links between Ireland and the United States,” he said.

Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director of Shannon Heritage, which manages GPO Witness History also spoke at the exhibition launch.

“We are honoured to be able to partner with the Thomas F Meagher Foundation to host this new exhibition on the Washington Monument plaque from the people of Ireland,” he said.

“This will be an excellent addition to our exhibition on the Irish flag. It is poignant that this exhibition is located here in GPO Witness History, given that it was at The GPO where the Irish Tricolour first flew in Dublin and where the proclamation was read during the 1916 Easter Rising.

“This exhibition on the commemorative plaque from the people of Ireland is also important in recognizing the long and enduring relationship between Ireland and the United States.”

Chair of the Thomas F Meagher Foundation, Reverend Michael Cavanagh, spoke of the Foundation’s delight at having this brand new addition to the exhibition on the Irish Flag opened in 2019. 

“The Irish Flag proclaims a message of pride, respect and peace, and that message is central to the work of the Foundation,” he said.

“Thomas Meagher himself is a symbol of the link between Ireland and the United States; the people of Ireland’s gift of the Washington Memorial plaque will keep that message of peace and inclusivity at the forefront of the relationship between our two countries.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here