Remembering the Easter Rising in Connemara

oil painting of Padraig Pearse by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

Quiet determination -- I think that's what he had.  He was passionate about the Irish language, Irish history and culture, the Irish way of life.

Above, oil painting of Patrick Pearse at Ros Muc, Connemara

He saw what the English education system was doing, trying to stamp out any indigenous cultures, and produce obedient servants of the British Empire.

“I thank the goodness and the grace that on my birth has smiled and made me in this Christian age, a happy English child” – this was the prayer in Irish National School readers, before 1916.  This was the attitude that he rebelled against - and was determined to change.

Photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Pearse's Cottage, Ros Muc

Pearse's Cottage, Ros Muc

Patrick Pearse had a cottage in Ros Muc and last year at Easter, Fionnuala and I went over there to join in the local commemorations of the Easter Rising.

We heard many stories about Pearse from people in the area, people whose grandparents might’ve met him long ago. There were fond memories of him.

People remembered him as a quiet man who visited the area regularly. They described how he would sit with them, late into the night, listening to their stories, endeavouring to learn everything about their way of life, and discussing and developing ideas for a better future for Ireland. Éire saor agus Éire Gaelach.

They appreciated his interest and he inspired them with his dedication.

If you read his short stories (that were based around Ros Muc), you can see how much he loved the place and the people. That was why we wanted to be in Ros Muc for Easter last year, to remember him and to commemorate the Easter Rising, one hundred years later.

Photo by eoin Mac Lochlainn of Raidió na Gaeltachta inside Pearse's Cottage, Rosmuc at Easter 2016

Raidió na Gaeltachta inside Pearse's Cottage, Ros Muc at Easter 2016

Raidió na Gaeltachta was there to record the occasion. They all crowded into Pearse’s Cottage to interview the locals. The man you see talking in the centre, above is Frank Ó Máille. Pearse stayed in his father’s house, the first time he ever visited Ros Muc. (an Teach gorm - ach níl sé gorm níos mó, faraor). His father met Pearse at Maam Cross railway station and brought him in his sidecar to Ros Muc.

I wanted to create something special to mark that special year. While I was working on an art project there, I created a short film entitled: Ar theacht an tSamhraidh. With my brother Fearghas, we projected it onto the gable end of the cottage, as you can see in the video below (click on the link).

An raibh an Piarsach féin ann an oíche úd, meas tú, agus an bheirt againn ag seasamh le chéile, i gcoim na h-oíche?

The painting of Patrick Pearse, which appears in the film, is hanging in the Olivier Cornet Gallery in Dublin at the moment. And you can see more about the Ros Muc art project at the first link below.

Views: 626

Tags: Arts, Irish Freedom Struggle, Living History, Visual Arts

Heritage Partner
Comment by That's Just How It Was on April 30, 2017 at 11:11am

The man had that presence of being able to  'inspire'.. an authority figure who wanted the people of Ireland to realize their dreams.. Some people would   suggest that he was just a figurehead/general in the IRA, however in my opinion as he was one of only seven people in the inner sanctum of the whole organisation , then he had that authority to be more than just a figurehead  ..[see my article on The Wild Geese  ] 

Comment by Eoin Mac Lochlainn on April 30, 2017 at 12:28pm

Dear Mary (am I right in calling you Mary Thorpe? - It didn't feel right writing: Dear that's just how it was)

Thank you for your comment - and I agree with you that he must surely have had a commanding presence... I have read a lot of sources which said that he made a deep impression on people.  I read your post about Pearse and I look forward to reading many more of your posts in the future.  Here's just a note to add to your story about the Pearse family.  James Pearse and Emily(nee Fox) actually had 4 children though 2 died very young. The other 2 were Mary Emily and James Vincent Pearse.  Mary Emily married Alfred Ignatious McGloughlin and these were my great grandparents. They had 3 children but that marriage broke up and Alfred Vincent (my grandfather) went to live with the Pearses for some years. He was only 10 years younger than Patrick and he became very involved with the movement as well. There are a lot of McGloughlins around still. Patrick would be my great grand (half) uncle.  James Vincent Pearse had 8 children and one of the daughters (Florence) married a Mr. Scarlett - and there are plenty of Scarletts around with the same relationship with Patrick Pearse as we have. All the best for now and best of luck with your writing, eoin

Heritage Partner
Comment by That's Just How It Was on April 30, 2017 at 3:04pm

Wow , how good is that, that you are actually a descendant of someone who had such a great presence in Irish history...Can I add that unknown piece of history to my piece..

And yes you can of course call me Mary,,,,,,,,It is a honor to be Wild Geese Friends with you  

Comment by Eoin Mac Lochlainn on May 1, 2017 at 1:29pm

Hello again Mary, of course you can add it (if it fits in)  You have a wonderful selection of history on your blog

slán for now, eoin 


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