The youngest and one of the most intellectually gifted of the Fathers of Confederation, Thomas D’Arcy McGee enjoyed a remarkable career as a journalist, poet, author and politician in Ireland, the United States and Canada. As a youth, during a period of famine and international revolution, he was one of the leaders of the Young Ireland Rising movement of 1848.
D’Arcy McGee also took an uncompromising stand against the Fenians — Irish republicans who wanted to free both Ireland and Canada from British rule. At the age of 42, in the early hours of April 7, 1868, he was assassinated on an Ottawa street by an Irishman who saw him as a traitor to the country of his birth.
Thomas D’Arcy McGee: Irish Rebel, Canadian Icon – A Life in Words and Music tells his story.
David Wilson: Narration and Whistle
James Stephens: Violin
Jeffrey McClintock: Piano and Guitar
Greg Brown: Violin, Concertina, Accordion, Banjo and Vocals
Steáfán Hannigan: Percussion, Pipes and Whistles
Ken Harper: Percussion
Frank Cassidy: Whistles, Flute and Banjo
About the Music
The music was written and recorded by James Stephens and Frank Cassidy, and reflects the forms and styles of traditional Canadian-Irish musical culture during the mid-19th century. Each piece was inspired by a significant event or experience in the life of Thomas D’Arcy McGee.
About David A. Wilson
David A. Wilson specializes in modern Irish history and the history of the Irish in North America. He has written, edited or co-edited numerous books on Irish history, including a book on Irish and Scottish encounters with Indigenous Peoples. He has also written two award-winning books on D’Arcy McGee, and is currently the General Editor of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
In English only.
The Canadian History Hall will be open following the concert — including Gallery 2, which features a famous portrait of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, along with artifacts related to his life and death.
A reception with cash bar will follow the performance.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.