Pádraig Pearse 1916 Canvas Print
€95 – €295
This exclusive canvas print of Pádraig Pearse is only available through Avoca Gallery and is the perfect gift for everyone with an Irish connection. Pádraig Pearse 1916 Canvas Print belongs to a series of sixteen 1916 portraits created by Rod Coyne to mark the Easter Rising Centenary. This fine art print available in small, medium and large sizes. It is framed and the price includes FREE world wide delivery.
Patrick Henry Pearse (also known as Pádraic or 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. Following his execution along with fifteen other leaders, Pearse came to be seen by many as the embodiment of the rebellion.
Find out more about Rod Coyne’s “1916 Portrait Collection” premier here.
Pearse was chosen by the leading IRB man Tom Clarke to be the spokesman for the Rising. It was Pádraig Pearse who, on behalf of the IRB shortly before Easter in 1916, issued the orders to all Volunteer units throughout the country for three days of manoeuvres beginning Easter Sunday, which was the signal for a general uprising. When Eoin MacNeill, the Chief of Staff of the Volunteers, learned what was being planned without the promised arms from Germany, he countermanded the orders via newspaper, causing the IRB to issue a last-minute order to go through with the plan the following day, greatly limiting the numbers who turned out for the rising.
When the Easter Rising eventually began on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, it was Pearse who read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic from outside the General Post Office, the headquarters of the rising. After six days of fighting, heavy civilian casualties and great destruction of property, Pearse issued the order to surrender.
Pearse and fourteen other leaders, including his brother Willie, were court-martialled and executed by firing squad. Thomas Clarke, Thomas MacDonagh and Pádraig Pearse himself were the first of the rebels to be executed, on the morning of 3 May 1916. Pearse was 36 years old at the time of his death.
Sir John Maxwell, the General Officer commanding the British forces in Ireland suppressed a letter from Pearse to his mother, and two poems dated 1 May 1916. He submitted copies of them also to Prime Minister Asquith, saying that some of the content was “objectionable”.
Pádraig Pearse wrote stories and poems in both Irish and English. His best-known English poems include “The Mother”, “The Fool” and “The Wayfarer”. He also wrote several allegorical plays in the Irish language. Most of his ideas on education are contained in his famous essay “The Murder Machine”. He also wrote many essays on politics and language, notably “The Coming Revolution” and “Ghosts”.
Pearse is closely associated with the song, “Oró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile”, for which he composed additional lyrics.
Largely as a result of a series of political pamphlets that Pearse wrote in the months leading up to the Rising, he soon became recognised as the main voice of the Rising. In the middle decades of the 20th century Pearse was idolised by Irish nationalists as the supreme idealist of their cause. With the outbreak of conflict in Northern Ireland in 1969 Pearse’s legacy was used by the Provisional IRA. However, Pearse’s reputation and writings have been subject to criticism by some historians, who have seen him as fanatical, psychologically unsound and ultra-religious. As Conor Cruise O’Brien, onetime Labour TD and former unionist politician, put it: “Pearse saw the Rising as a Passion Play with real blood.” Others have defended Pearse, suggesting that to blame him for the violence in Northern Ireland was unhistorical and a distortion of the real spirit of his writings. Though the passion of those arguments has waned in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, his complex personality still remains a subject of controversy for those who wish to debate the evolving meaning of Irish nationalism.