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Dating back to the early 1700's, the Granville Hotel is one of Ireland's oldest hotels and has played a prominent role in Waterford City's rich social and political history. It was built by the Newports, a well known merchant and banking family of Dutch origin, and subsequently bought by one of the city’s most prominent merchants, Thomas Meagher, who traded between Waterford and Newfoundland, Canada. His son Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher was a member of the famous Fighting 69th and The Irish Brigade in the American Civil War and designer of our National Irish Tricolour, which was first flown in Waterford in 1848.. He was born here in 1823. 

The Hotel was also the headquarters for the first public transport system in Ireland established by Charles Bianconi and has been host to many other famous historical and political figures, including Charles Stewart Parnell, Daniel O’Connell and Lord Frederick Roberts.

The hotel was purchased in 1979 by Liam and Ann Cusack and restored to it’s former gracious grandeur, combining modern comfort with olde worlde charm and elegance.The Cusack family second generation Fiona, Jackie and Sandra now continue to uphold the Granville traditions of comfort, service and hospitality.Ann Cusack travelled to the capital of Montana (Helena) in the 1980’s and was made Honorary Secretary of State and given the Seal of Montana in recognition of her connection with Thomas Francis Meagher and his place of birth.

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Thomas Francis Meagher

Thomas Francis Meagher was born in what is now The Granville Hotel in 1823; then the family home of his mother Alicia Quan and father Thomas Meagher, a union of two of the most porminent merchant families in Waterford. His father traded between Waterford and Newfoundland, Canada.

Thomas Francis grew up in an atmosphere of wealth and priviledge. On becoming disillusioned by constitutional politics, he followed the course of rebillion with the Young Ireland Movement. He was sent to congratulate and seek help from the French Revolutionaries but returned with no weapons or money. He did however return with a flag modelled on the French tricolour comprising of three vertical bands. Green sybolising the South of Ireland, orange for the North and white for the peace between the two traditionally warring factions. The flag was first flown in March of 1848 from what is now known as 33 The Mall, and later in Dublin during the Easter Rising of 1916 before becoming the flag of the republic of Ireland in 1937.

After failure of the rebellion in Ireland in 1848, Meagher was sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered and was sent to Tasmania. He escaped to New York in 1852. In 1861 with the outbreak of the American Civil War he joined the 69th Regiment and fused together five regiments of Irish-Americans to form the Irish brigade and he became Brigadier General. Following the war he was appointed by the President Abraham Lincoln as Secretary and acting Governer of Montana. He was later a pall bearer at Abraham Lincoln's funeral. 

Revolutionary, convict, military leaser - Thomas Francie Meagher was too dramatic and inspiring a figure to die of old age. He simply disappeared in July of 1867. 

Charles Stewart Parnell

Charles Stewart Parnell was born in 1846 in Co. Wicklow. His maternal grandfather was American Naval hero Admiral Charles Stewart. Charles Stewart Parnell was an Irish Anglican landowner nationalist political leader, land reform agiator and the found of the Irish Parliamentary Party. He was one of the most important figures in 19th century Ireland and Great Britain. Waterford City supported his cause for Irish Home Rule and in 1880 on his visit here he received Freedom of the City. While in Waterford he resided at the Granville Hotel. He died in 1891 and was known as the "Uncrowned King of Ireland". 

Charles Bianconi

Born Carlo Bianconi in Italy, he moved to Italy in 1802. In 1815 he established regular horse-drawn carriage services on many routes throughout Ireland. He set up a stagecoach service in 1831 from the Granville Hotel (then called Commins's Family & Commercial Hotel) which he purchased from the Meagher family. By 1832 he had established himself as the found of the public transportation in Ireland and was known as the "King of the Irish Roads". He died in 1875. 

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