Thomas J Clarke Bust on Marble
Thomas Clarke was born on the Isle of Wight in 1858. His father was a soldier in the British Army who had served in the Crimean War. The family subsequently moved to South Africa where they lived in various British garrison towns. When Thomas was seven his family moved to Co. Tyrone, where he met John Daly, uncle of his future wife Kathleen and an Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) organiser. Clarke also became involved with the IRB.
Thomas J. Clarke was chosen as the first signatory of the Proclamation of Independence because of his seniority and contribution to the cause over the years. As a member of the Provincial Government, he was one of those who occupied the GPO. After six days of fighting at the GPO, Pearse issued the order to surrender. Although Clarke objected to this, he was outvoted.
Clarke was one of the first to be executed on 3rd May 1916.