The Thomas Francis Meagher Association honored the life and legacy of Thomas Francis Meagher with a festival in Helena, Montana, U.S.A. on July 1, 2017. This was the 150 year anniversary of his death in Fort Benton, Montana. We want to thank all who were able to join us for this family friendly celebration!
We were proud of the turn out and support we received from Montana and Ireland. Opening ceremonies included Senator Mark Daly of County Kerry, Deputy Ambassador to the US from Ireland, Mr. Michael Lonegran, Ann Cusack, owner of the the Granville Hotel, Thomas Meagher’s birthplace and home in Waterford, Helena Mayor Jim Smith, and our very own Michael O’Connor, President of the Thomas Francis Meagher Association.
– Ann Cusack, owner of the the Granville Hotel, Thomas Meagher’s birthplace and home in Waterford, and Senator Mark Daly at the MeagherFest 17 Opening Ceremony.
Ancient Order of the Hibernians from all over the state of Montana joined us for Meagher Fest 2017. This organization has been active in Montana since well before statehood! They have keep the traditions strong within our communities.
Following the opening ceremony there were a variety of activities including music, talks, and demonstrations. These all focused on celebrating the life and legacy of Thomas Francis Meagher and his connection between the United States and Ireland.
Ellen Baumler of the Montana Historic Society spoke to the crowed gathered about life in Montana in the 1860’s, when Thomas Francis Meagher was Territorial Governor.
Michael O’Boyle, of the University of Montana Grizzly Hurling Team, works with a young lady on the traditional Irish stick and ball game hurling. The three time National Collegiate Gaelic Athlectic Association National Champion Montana Grizzlies came to the festival along with the Missoula, Montana club team – the Thomas Francis Meagher Hurling Club.
Pop Up Gaeltacht group at MeagherFest 2017. Ciara Ní Riain and Siobhán O Donnell lead the group in an introduction to Irish language.
The Montana Shamrockers entertain the crowd while the statue of Thomas Francis Meagher stands as a constant reminder of the Irish presence in Montana.
As lectures finished, and the heat of the day turned to dusk the crowed gathered in front of the Capitol as the evening’s activities commenced.
Ann Cusack and Governor Steve Bullock share a moment before both take stage at MeagherFest 2017 to address the crowd.
Senator Mark Daly presents Governor Steve Bullock the Irish Tricolor. The National Flag of Ireland as first flown by Thomas Meagher, representing the Irish, both Catholic and Protestant and the potential peace between them.
As day turned to night, the crowed enjoyed a magical evening, filled with music, friends, and fun.
The Montana Shamrockers joined headliners Cassie and Maggie. The Nova Scotia sisters dazzled the crowed with a beautiful mix of traditional and contemporary Celtic music and Irish dance.
Go raibh mile maith agat!
Thank you very very much!