In 1878, Thomas MacDonagh was born in Cloughjordan in the Irish Midlands. Learning the Irish language he became a teacher, a scholar and a poet who eventually gave his life for Irish freedom in May 1916. His childhood home was handed over to the Cloughjordan Community Committee who commissioned MDA to design a new community centre prior to restoring his home as a heritage visitor centre.
The house was integrated into the new centre which frames the original in a modern style to create a contrast between the old and the new. There is a curving courtyard at the rear which provides tourist and café facilties, a community hall and a small library. The growing town now hosts tourists keen to catch up with the life of one of its greatest sons. They can do this by exploring his house now restored to what must be close to its original condition. By investing in their heritage the community has begun to define Cloughjordan as a destination where this great man grew up. Cloughjordan made him and the new centre visitor centre is a fitting tribute.