“Presented as a gift in 1848 to Thomas Francis Meagher from a small group of French women sympathetic to the Irish cause, it was intended to symbolise the inclusion and hoped-for union between Roman Catholics and Protestants, the significance of the colours outlined by Meagher was, “The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between Orange and Green and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood.” 
Blessing of the Colours by Lavery (cropped)
Michael Collins “Love of Ireland” by Lavery 1922
Church of Ireland “protestant” from West Cork, Sam Maguire recruited Michael Collins to the Irish Republican Brotherhood: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Maguire Parnell was also a Church of Ireland member.
“The national flag of Ireland (Irish: bratach na hÉireann) – frequently referred to as the Irish tricolour (trídhathach na hÉireann) –…
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