The piano from the home of 1916 leader, Tomás MacDonagh, has been acquired and is being renovated by the Cloughjordan Heritage Group. It will take pride of place in the new MacDonagh Heritage Centre.
The Cloughjordan Heritage Group is delighted to have been given the very piano that Tomás MacDonagh’s mother owned and played. His parents were both school teachers in the village, and Tomás’s mother gave lessons to local children on this small square grand piano. The Brazilian Rosewood piano, with covered ivory and ebony keys, was built in about 1850 by the London firm of Collard and Collard, and the maker’s number is still visible.
The MacDonaghs moved several times within the village of Cloughjordan, and each time they moved they took the piano with them. Mary MacDonagh, née Parker, died in 1908 and the piano remained in the house which she and her family had once rented, before it was taken away for storage.
Unfortunately while in storage it has suffered a degree of deterioration, and now is sorely in need of renovation and repair. A very generous donation towards this work has been given already, although more is needed.
However, once the piano is restored to its former beauty, it will be have pride of place in the new Cloughjordan Heritage Centre, which is being built next to and will include the same house in which that piano was played, probably even by Tomás himself, over a hundred years ago.
Tomás was born in Cloughjordan and was executed in 1916 after the Easter Rising. He was one of the leaders of the Rising, and is a signatory of the Proclamation.
The Cloughjordan Heritage Centre will be opened by Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht at the launch of ‘Cloughjordan Honours MacDonagh’ Heritage Weekend and School, on the anniversary of MacDonagh’s death, May 3rd. This piano was originally owned by the McDonagh family and was donated to the Heritage Centre by the Hennessy Family from Cloughjordan.
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