Thomas MacDonagh (Irish: Tomás Mac Donnchadha) was an Irish nationalist, poet, playwright, and a leader of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Early Life

MacDonagh was born in Cloughjordan, County Tipperary. He grew up in a household filled with music, poetry and learning and was instilled with a love of both English and Irish culture from a young age.

Both his parents were teachers; who strongly emphasized education. MacDonagh attended Rockwell College. While there MagDonagh aspired to become a priest or brother and spent several years studying for this the vocation, however, after a few years he realized that it wasn't the life for him, and left.

He had abandoned a vocation for the priesthood, which came with the stigma of being "a spoiled priest". Very soon after, he published his first book of poems, Through the Ivory Gate, in 1902. He moved to Dublin where he joined the Gaelic League, soon establishing strong friendships with such men as Eoin MacNeill and Patrick Pearse.

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