Patrick Pearse: one of Ireland’s noblest martyrs
Antrim, 17 November 1917 - Patrick Pearse was the child of an English father and an Irish mother.
Such a ‘racial blending’ had, according to Mr John Clarke, delivered for Ireland ‘great figures whose names have stood for much and whose teachings have moulded and fashioned the cleanest thought in Irish life’. As such Pearse stands alongside Davis, Parnell, Fitzgerald as testimony to these ‘racial facts’.
Mr Clarke said this last weekend during the course of a lecture he was giving on the life of Pearse, a ‘great Gael’, to a meeting of the Eoin MacNeill Sinn Féin Club in Glenarm, Co. Antrim.
Details of the lecture have been reprinted in the Strabane Herald in a column written by Mr Clarke himself using a nom de plume, ‘Benmore’.
Pearse was a man of ‘rare and excellent qualities’, according to Clarke, who offered a wide ranging account of the executed rebel’s life, most notably his interest in art and education and his influence on the promotion of the Irish language and the organising of the Irish Volunteers.
Concluding his lecture to loud applause, Mr Clarke said that in future years, Patrick Pearse would be ‘recognised as one of Ireland’s greatest scholars and noblest martyrs’.
Pearse was executed in May 1916 for his role in the Easter Rising.
[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]