16 Lives Patrick Pearse
Patrick Pearse (1879-1916)
Patrick Henry was born in Dublin to an English father, the sculptor James Pearse. Patrick had little time for the family business but was interested in Irish cultural matters in his teenage years. In 1898 he became a member of the Executive Committee of the Gaelic League. He graduated from University in 1901 with degrees in Arts and Law. Pearse’s literary output was constant, and he published extensively in both Irish and English, becoming the editor of An Claidheamh Soluis, the newspaper of the Gaelic League. Pearse was connected with Rosmuc where he eventually employed some locals to build a cottage for him to enable his continued studies in the language. He also spent time on the Aran Islands and it was here that he first met Thomas MacDonagh. He condemned the English educational system and established two schools, St. Enda’s and St. Ita’s, devoted to the education of Irish children through the Irish language. He was a poet, a dreamer, an educator and abstained from drinking and smoking. One of the founder members of the Irish Volunteers, and co-author of the Proclamation of Independence, Pearse was the President of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic and was Commander in Chief in the GPO. He was executed on 3 May 1916.