Pádraig Pearse - One Of Ireland's Most Famous Patriots & Leader Of The 1916 Easter Rising
Padraig Pearse was a patriotic soldier who laid down his life for his country and he held academic qualifications as a Teacher, Lawyer and Writer. He attended the Christian Brothers School and the Royal University, Dublin. At sixteen he joined the Gaelic League, primarily to become fluent in the Irish language. He also regularly went to the Connemara Gaeltacht to speak Irish amongst the local people.
Pearse became editor of ‘An Claoimh Soluis’ in 1903, the official publication of the Gaelic League.
His duration of office was from 1903 to 1913 and he committed himself entirely to the promotion of Irish. He also wrote many Irish poems and essays and he founded two Irish speaking schools, St. Enda’s (boys) and St. Ita’s (girls) - both schools based in Dublin.
As headmaster of St. Enda’s, he was extremely popular with all his pupils and many of them would join in the 1916 Easter Rising at the Dublin G.P.O.
Pearse took his first steps into the political arena in 1913 when he joined the Irish Volunteers and was appointed Director of Organisation. Wexfordman, John Redmond, was now calling on his fellow Irishmen to fight for England in the 1914 Great War and Pearse opposed such a move. Many of the Irish volunteers did follow Redmond, but not the founders.
The Irish Volunteers who remained in Ireland took the first steps to planning the 1916 Easter Rising.
At Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s burial at Gllasnevin, in 1915, Padraig Pearse gave a rallying oration that roused Republicans. When the Rising began on Easter Monday, 28th April 1916, Padraig Pearse was Commander - in - Chief of all the Volunteer troops.
The first signal was to hoist the Irish Tricolour over the G.P.O. on O’Connell Street, Dublin. That was followed by Pearse reading the Proclamation, declaring Ireland a Republic.
Fierce battles raged for almost a week before Pearse accepted that he had to finally surrender, as he was hopelessly surrounded on all sides of the G.P.O.
Pearse was joined in the Rising by many historic rebels, amongst them, Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera, who were also arrested and imprisoned.
Pearse as the No.1 soldier, and prime organiser of the Rising, was only allowed minimum defence at his trial. Along with the other six signatories of the Proclamation, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad on 3rd May 1916. He was aged thirty seven.
Padraig Pearse will always be a Famous Son of Ireland across all political divides.