Aontú Cllr Emer Tóibín, is to table a motion at the next Navan Municipal Council meeting that if passed, will see the new road being built in the Farganstown area of Navan called after Thomas Hodgett.
“Thomas Hodgett was the Postmaster of Navan Post office in 1921 in the middle of the War of Independence. He was a non-combatant, a devout Protestant, and politically he was a Unionist originally from Dungannon. Thomas Hodgett was regarded by his friends and coworkers as a model post office official. While in Navan he lived at Academy Street with his wife and four children”.
“However in a shocking event that highlights the complexity of the War of Independence he was taken from his home on Academy St, marched up Bridge St, Ludlow St, Market Sq down Watergate St, past the RIC Station, now the Town Hall and down to Poolboy Bridge. He was shot in the chest at Poolboy Bridge in Navan on the 18th of February 1921 by the RIC and his body was thrown into the river only to be found 5 weeks later at Aylsbury Saw Mills on the Boyne in Athlumney. No one was ever charged with his murder and his heartbroken wife Grace led a campaign for justice right up to the King of England at the time, however to no avail”.
While the exact events of this murder are unclear much witness testimony agrees with the generally held belief that the RIC murdered Thomas Hodgett on that fateful night. Many have speculated as to the motive of the killing however its clear that the Post office, as the centre of letters, postal orders, telegraphs and even the early telephone system, would have been an extremely important source of information and resources during the War of Independence. It is understood that Thomas Hodgett sought to protect the integrity of the post office system for which he was in charge of in these turbulent times and that he sought to protect the postal staff from involvement in the conflict. For this he may well have lost his life. I think its important that 100 years on we in County Meath remember the life of Thomas Hodgett and honour him with the naming of this new road in his memory”.
The Motion reads; “That Navan Municipal Council name the new road being built from the intersection of the R153 Navan Kentstown Rd and Metges Road to Farganstown, Bóthar Hodgett in memory of Thomas Hodgett”