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    Patrick Pearse was born in Dublin, on November 10, 1879
    to an English father (he was a sculptor) and an Irish

    Pearse became interested in the heritage and history of
    Ireland at a very early age and joined the Gaelic League
    when 21 years old. The purpose of the league was to
    promote Irish tradition and language and it was very much
    part of the revival of Gaelic consciousness that took
    place at the turn of the century. Ears was an
    enthusiastic member and became editor of the leagues
    newspaper: An Claidheamh Solais ('The Sword of Light').

    Pearse tried to use knowledge and education to defeat the
    English and insisted on the use of the native Irish
    language and founded St. Edna's College near Dublin in
    1908. St Edna's structured its curriculum around Irish
    traditions and culture and tutored in both the Irish and
    English languages.

    Pearse was a pioneer of Irish writing and published poems,
    stories, articles and essays to further the identification
    of Ireland as a separate culture.

    The Gaelic League inevitably attracted militant nationalists
    and Pearse soon realised that it would take more than
    education and tradition to break the link with England.

    In July 1914, Pearse was made a member of the Supreme Council
    of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), a militant group
    that believed in using force to throw the British out of

    When England entered the First World War Irish nationalism
    split between those who wanted to take advantage of England's
    plight and those (including John Redmond) who wanted to
    assist England in the war in the hope of getting concessions
    when it was over.

    John Redmond, a member of Parliament fighting for Home Rule,
    took a pro-British stance during the war. This alienated
    many Irish citizens and support for the Brotherhood grew.
    Shortly before 1915, the Irish Republican Brotherhood had
    plans for a full military revolution in Ireland. Pearse was
    a believer in a revolution while the British were occupied
    fighting a war in Europe. Pearse was opposed to Redmond's
    stance and felt that the only way to liberate Ireland was
    by insurrection. His famous oration at the funeral of
    Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa (an Irish revolutionary) in August
    1915 demonstrates this:

    'We stand at Rossa's grave not in sadness, but in
    exultation of spirit... This is a place of peace sacred to
    the dead, where men should speak with all charity and all
    restraint; but I hold it a Christian thing... to hate evil,
    to hate untruth, to hate oppression, and hating them to
    strive to overthrow them... while Ireland holds these
    graves, Ireland unfree, shall never be at peace.'

    Pearse was heavily involved with the planning of the 1916
    Easter Rising which was the catalyst for the subsequent
    War of Independence, Civil War and eventual declaration of
    a Republic in 1949.

    The Rising failed as Pearse must have known it must. He
    was executed on May 3, 1916 with fourteen other rebels.

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