Patrick Pearse

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Patrick Henry Pearse (also known as Pádraig Pearse; Irish: Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais; An Piarsach; 10 November 1879 – 3 May 1916) was an Irish teacher, barrister, poet, writer, nationalist and political activist who was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916. He was declared "President of the Provisional Government" of the Irish Republic in one of the bulletins issued by the Rising's leaders, a status that was however disputed by others associated with the rebellion both then and subsequently. Following the collapse of the Rising and the execution of Pearse, along with his brother (Willie Pearse) and fourteen other leaders, Pearse came to be seen by many as the embodiment of the rebellion.


Early life and influences

Patrick Pearse and his brother Willie were born at 27 Great Brunswick Street,[2] the street that is named after them today.[3] It was here that their father, James Pearse, established a stonemasonry business in the 1850s,[4] a business which flourished and provided the Pearses with a comfortable middle-class upbringing.[5]

The home life of Patrick Pearse was one where he was surrounded by books.[6] His father had very little formal education, but he was a self-educated man.[7] He had two children from his first marriage, Emily and James (two other children died in infancy). His second wife, Margaret Brady was a native of Dublin, but her father's family were from County Meath and were native Irish speakers. The Irish-speaking influence of Pearse's great-aunt Margaret, together with his schooling at the CBS Westland Row, instilled in him an early love for the Irish language.

In 1896, at the age of sixteen, he joined the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge), and in 1903 at the age of 23, he became editor of its newspaper An Claidheamh Soluis ("The Sword of Light").

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