George Collie RHA. Portrait of Padraig Pearse, Head of the Army of the Irish Republic, President of the Provisional Government.

Pearse 1.JPG

George Collie RHA 1904 -1975
Portrait of Padraig Pearse 1879-1916; A father of the Republic of Ireland
Oil on canvas
42 x 36 inches

The Irish Club, Eaton Place to 1992
An Insurance consortium from 1992
Asset investment company to 2007
Insurance corporation to 2018
Young and Son

Pearse was a Barrister,teacher of the Irish language and cultural history, poet,Irish Republican and activist, Director of Organisation for the Irish Volunteer Army,Director of Organisation and Commander in Chief of the Irish Forces, author of the Proclamation of Irish Independence. He was court-martialled and executed by the British in 1916 along with fourteen of his committee members after the Easter Uprising. Ireland gained independence in 1922

Padraig Pearse was an Irish teacher, barrister, poet, writer, nationalist, republican political activist and revolutionary. Some say that his rousing speech at the graveside of O'Donovan Rossa set the wheels in motion that changed history culminating in Irish Independence in 1922;

"They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! - they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace."
At the Easter Monday Rising, 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. Pearse was largely responsible for drafting the Proclamation. He was chosen as President of the Republic. After six days of fighting, heavy civilian casualties and great destruction of property, Pearse issued the order to surrender to avoid further civilian casualties. . Pearse and fourteen other leaders, including his brother Willie, were courts marshalled and executed by firing squad. He joyfully whistled all the while on his way to the wall, according to the diary entry of a sergeant, one of his British military escorts.

Pearse's poetry inspires young poets and writers after him. His poems were written with freedom for Ireland, and the perpetuation of the Irish language in mind. He wrote "The Mother", " The Fool", "the Rebel" and "The Wayfarer" - acclaimed pieces in English. He was also associated with the song 'Oró Sé Do Bheatha 'Bhaile,' for which he wrote additional lyrics.
The Wayfarer was Pearse's last poem, written on the eve of his execution, which took place on 3 May, 1916;
The beauty of the world hath made me sad,
This beauty that will pass;
Sometimes my heart hath shaken with great joy
To see a leaping squirrel in a tree
Or a red lady-bird upon a stalk,
Or little rabbits in a field at evening,
Lit by a slanting sun,
Or some green hill where shadows drifted by
Some quiet hill where mountainy man hath sown
And soon would reap; near to the gate of Heaven;
Or children with bare feet upon the sands
Of some ebbed sea, or playing on the streets
Of little towns in Connacht,
Things young and happy.
And then my heart hath told me:
These will pass,
Will pass and change, will die and be no more,
Things bright and green, things young and happy;
And I have gone upon my way

Bertie Ahern placed a photographic portrait of his hero, Pearse, on the wall behind his desk at the Taioseach office.

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