WHY?....Rationale for the McGee! Project

Thomas D’Arcy McGee was a brilliant man and prolific writer, a journalist, poet, historian, lecturer, lawyer, visionary, politician, statesman, and a loving husband and father. He evolved from an anti-British rebel in Ireland, to an arch-conservative Catholic in the United States, to an early visionary and Father of Confederation in Canada in 1867. He was a staunch advocate of social and religious minority rights, of encouraging development of a national Canadian English literature, and of building railroads to bind together central Canada with the Maritimes and the West.

Yet he had weaknesses which hindered him in his personal and political life. In common with many, he struggled with family, finances, health and relationships. He was a complex man who experienced intensely the peaks and valleys of everyday living, who was both adulated and despised. He was assassinated at the young age of almost 43, under circumstances that remain mysterious.

Today in both Canada and Ireland, little is known or appreciated about McGee. Various excellent academic and scholarly treatises on his life and times have been published but not popularized. Some Irish vaguely feel he was a traitor to their nationalism and Fenianism. Some Canadians feel he was famous mostly for his drinking and carousing. Some empathize with the shifting circumstances and issues in his personal and political life. For many, McGee remains an unknown, or controversial and misunderstood, figure of history.

Padraig Finlay, is the writer and principal actor in McGee!. He uses innovative techniques to provide a video of “portable theatre”. This will enable his less-abled physical abilities associated with Guillaine Barre Syndrome (GBS)…and his advancing years in the baby boomer demographic!

The objectives of the McGee! Project are to:-


Wilson, David A., Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Volume I, Passion, Reason and Politics, 1825-1857: McGill-Queen’s University Press 2008
Slattery, T.P., The Assassination of D’Arcy McGee. Toronto: Doubleday 1968
Slattery, T.P., “They Got to Find Mee Guilty Yet.” Toronto: Doubleday 1972

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