Standing proudly on The Mall is the equestrian statue of Thomas Francis Meagher, one of Waterford’s and Ireland’s most famous nationalist leaders. Born in a house at no. 19 The Mall, Meagher was born into a wealthy merchant family in 1823 and son to former mayor of Waterford, Thomas Meagher Snr. Meagher Jnr. protested and fought vehemently for Irish Independence from British Rule and during the battle for independence designed and introduced the green, white and gold tricolour flag which later became the national flag of Ireland still used today.
Meagher was arrested and convicted by the British authorities on charges of sedition and was subsequently sentenced to death. This sentence was later changed and Meagher was instead exiled to Tasmania in Australia, then known as Van Diemen’s Land. In 1852 Meagher escaped to America where he studied journalism and law and later joined the U.S. Army where he gained the rank of Brigadier General and led the Irish Brigade during the American Civil War. Before his death by drowning accident in 1897, Meagher had served as Governor of Montana.