As the Irish revolutionary’s birthday looms, here are ten facts about Patrick Pearse you probably didn’t know.
Patrick Henry Pearse (10 November 1879 – 3 May 1916) is one of Ireland’s most remembered revolutionaries.
Having dedicated his life to the conservation of Irish culture and the fight for Irish independence under British rule, his name has gone down in history and will never be forgotten.
That being said, as his birthday looms, we feel that these are ten facts about Patrick Pearse you probably didn’t know.
10. A member of the Gaelic League – a love for his mother tongue
One fact that people may not know is that Patrick Pearse was a huge advocate of the Irish language in the education system and at large.
He became a member of the Gaelic League – a mission dedicated to the preservation of the Irish language – when he was 16 in 1896.
Soon, he began editing the organisation’s newspaper, paving an early path to his ultimate destiny: lobbying for the conservation of Irish culture.
9. Mr and Mrs Pearse – his familial roots
While there is a lot of information out there about the man himself, you may be interested to learn that Patrick Pearse was the son of an English father from Birmingham and an Irish mother.
Patrick was one of four children who were all born at 27 Great Brunswick Street in Dublin.
8. He was the son of a stonemason – the family business
Patrick Pearse was, in fact, the son of a successful stonemason who owned his own business. Given this, Pearse had a comfortable middle-class upbringing alongside his siblings.
7. His mother and sister were leading the country – a family of politicians
Interestingly, another aspect of Patrick Pearse’s life which is often overlooked is that both his mother and sister were involved in politics, too.
His mother was a TD in Dáil Éireann during the 1920s and his sister, Margaret Mary Pearse, also served as a TD and Senator in Ireland.
6. He started his own newspaper – the entrepreneur
One of the top ten facts about Patrick Pearse you probably didn’t know on his birthday is that in 1912, Pearse launched “An Barr Buadh” (The Trumpet of Victory), his very own newspaper.
Later in his career, he also published a pamphlet entitled “The Murder Machine”, in which he criticised the Irish education system, amongst many other published works.
5. He graduated with top degrees – an educated man
Another point of interest that could be overlooked is that Patrick Pearse was a very well educated man.
In 1900, he graduated with a B.A. in Modern Languages (Irish, English, and French) by the Royal University of Ireland, and in 1901 he earned a law degree from the King’s Inns in Dublin.
4. He was a spiritual man – a lesser-known side of Pearse
When reading about Pearse, it is often left unsaid that he was, in fact, a very spiritual man – this is yet another one of the facts about Patrick Pearse you probably didn’t know on his birthday.
Throughout his education, career, and development of personal passions grew a mystical allegiance to the ideals of Ireland’s ancient Gaelic civilisation.
3. He founded St. Enda’s College – he was also a teacher
Another fun fact about Patrick Pearse is that he – frustrated with Ireland’s own education system – founded his own school: St. Enda’s College.
This was considered a somewhat visionary secondary school for boys, with an absolute emphasis on devotion to Irish language and culture.
In the school’s mission statement, Pearse wrote that the school would try to “Instruct pupils in a love of the Irish language. Educate pupils in a love of chivalry and self-sacrifice. Teach pupils to have ‘charity towards all’, a sense of civic social duty.”
2. He had an unpublished autobiography – a lost treasure
It is true that Patrick Pearse was penning an autobiography. In it, he described himself as the “strange thing that I am”.
This is just one of the facts about Patrick Pearse you probably didn’t know, but we’re sure that there was perhaps a lot more in his book.
1. He was also a poet – a lyricist and lover of words
Aside from publishing political and cultural observations, pamphlets, and books, Patrick Pearse was also a poet and songwriter who wrote in both the Irish and English languages.
One of his most famous works is called “The Mother“, which was written on the night before his execution. In it, he describes his mother’s thoughts on the death of her two sons.