Thomas F Meager Foundation

What we do?

The Thomas Francis Meagher Foundation was established in 2013 to promote pride in, and respect for, the Irish Flag and the understanding of its symbolism and meaning for peace, in particular among young people irrespective of ethnicity, creed or gender. It is important that all the young people of Ireland including those who constitute the ‘New Irish’ are made aware of the flag’s message, and are fully included in the process of making it a reality by making a significant and meaningful contribution as active citizens.

To promote active citizenship, the Foundation encourages all schools to hold a Flag Day, on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day every year. The Foundation supply participating schools, flag lapel pins, free of charge, along with a fundraising pack to sell for charities or projects of their choosing.

To ensure the message of the Flag’s meaning for peace and the Foundation’s aim of active citizenship working with the Irish Independent and the History Teachers Association a 24 page supplement is produced each year containing lesson plans to be used by schools.  

The Foundation is delighted to have worked in partnership with the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in organising the second largest event in the 1916 centenary celebrations by presenting, at an event in Croke Park, every second level school in the state with an Irish Flag which was flown from 33 The Mall in Waterford, the building from which Meagher flew a tricolour flag for the first time.

The Foundation also worked with the Department of the Taoiseach in updating the protocol guidelines for the display and handling of the national flag. 

In 2018, the Foundation in partnership with Shannon Heritage and the GPO Witness History Centre, installed the first ever permanent exhibition on the Irish Flag.

To continue developing its aims, the Foundation has linked up with Gaisce as a challenge partner to work with its extensive network of second level teachers and students throughout Ireland. 



About Us

Learn more about the Thomas F. Meagher Foundation, our aims and objectives.


Flag Day

Information about Flag Day.



Learn more about our awards and scholorships programmes.



Thomas F. Meagher

The Foundation is named after Thomas Francis Meagher, Irish Patriot, US army general and Governor of Montana who flew the first Tricolour flag on the 7th of March 1848 from 33 The Mall in Waterford at the Wolf Tone Club.

In his relatively short life – he died aged just 43 – much of which was spent outside of Ireland, Thomas Francis Meagher made a significant contribution to both Irish nationalism and to the preservation of the United States and particularly to the assimilation of the Irish into American society.


About Thomas F. Meagher



Our Partners

Flag Day 2019 - 15th March

The Foundation are encouraging all registered second level schools to sell the flag lapin pins to raise money for a project or charity of their choosing, we are encouraging the young people of Ireland Irrespective of ethnicity, creed or gender to work together under the Irish Tricolour and live its message of peace and unity.

Spreagfaidh Lá na Brathaí, a bheidh á chomóradh i 2019 ar 15 Márta, daoine óga na hÉireann chun dul i mbun oibre le chéile faoi Bhratach Thrídhathach na hÉireann ag fógairt agus ag comhlíonadh a teagaisc i leith na síochána agus beag beann ar chíníocha, ar chreideamh nó ar inscne.

Flag Day 2019 Badge

Flag Day 2019 Badge


2016 January 1st - Flag raising ceremony in Dublin Castle

Reverend Michael Cavanagh (CoI), chair of the Thomas Francis Meagher Foundation which promotes Pride in and Respect for the Irish Flag and its meaning for Peace, welcomed the Flag raising ceremony in Dublin Castle.

The 2016 Programme of commemorative events began on Friday 1st January in Dublin Castle.  A symbol of peace and reconciliation, the National Flag of Ireland, was raised at Dublin Castle with the President in attendance

The Irish flag was raised at the first official state ceremony for 2016. With the assistance of the Foundation the flag used in this ceremony was previously flown over 33 the Mall in Waterford where Thomas Meagher first flew a tricolour in 1848.

Reverend Cavanagh explained 'The Irish Flag and its significance is as important today as it was when Thomas Meagher first raised it and explained its symbolism in words of great significance: "The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between orange and green. I trust beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Catholics and the Irish Protestants may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood"’

He welcomed the new additions to the protocol and guidelines of our National Flag. The first tricolour flag was raised on 7th of Mach 1848 and flown continuously day and night until removed by the authorities. On Easter Monday 1916 it was raised for the second time, again flying by day and night. This year will be the first year that protocol will allow for the flag to be flown at night - provided it is illuminated - so it is entirely appropriate to fly the flag with pride and respect at all times."

Throughout 2016, there will be ceremonies, events and programmes marking the significance of the Flag in the historical and cultural narrative in the 100 years since the Rising, with a particular emphasis on conveying its message to the Nation’s young people.


"The flag is a statement of intent. It holds aloft our aspiration to be a peaceful country where all traditions are respected and reconciled. It flies high to remind us we are not there yet but it is the mission of each generation to bring us nearer to permanent peace one heart at a time. Good wishes to all those involved in the Thomas Francis Meagher Foundation School’s Scholarship and Awards Programme. Our flag flies over one of the best countries in the world and, for all its man-made problems and imperfections, Thomas Francis Meagher would be proud of its noble achievements and ambitions."


Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese


Our Education and Challenge Partners

Our Board