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Saturday 3 June 1916 - Part 2

P.H. Pearse


In the farewell letter addressed to his “dearest mother”, from Kilmainham Prison, on the 3rd inst. Mr. P H Pearse said he had been hoping up to then it would be possible to see her again but it did not seem possible.
“Good bye, dear, dear mother” he continued. “Through you I say good bye to ‘Wow, Wow’, Mary Brigid, Willie, Miceal, Cousin Maggie, and everyone at St. Enda’s. I hope and believe that Willie and the St. Enda boys will be all safe. I have written two pages about financial affairs, and one about my books, which I want you to get.
With them are a few poems which I want added to the poems in manuscript in the large bookcase.


“You asked me to write a little poem which would seem to be said by you about me. I have written it, and a copy is in Arbour Hill Barracks with the other papers. I have just received Holy Communion. I am happy except for the great grief of parting from you.
“Good-bye again, dear mother. May God bless you for your great love for me, and for your great faith, and may He remember all that you have so bravely suffered. I hope soon to see papa and in a little while we shall be all together again. ‘Wow, Wow’ Willie Mary Brigid and mother - good-bye! I have not words to tell you of my love for you, and how my heart yearns to you all. I will call to you in my heart at the last moment.

(“Wow Wow” is a pet name for one of his sisters)



The following was published on Saturday last:-
By – the Lord’s Justices General and General Governors of Ireland


Whereas disaffection and unrest still prevails in certain parts of Ireland, causing anxiety and alarm amongst the peaceful and law abiding subjects of his Majesty.
Now, we, the Lords Justices General and General Governors of Ireland do hereby proclaim that a state of Martial Law shall continue to exist throughout Ireland until further order.
Given to his Majesty’s Castle of Dublin, this 28th day of May 1916 - Richard R. Cherry, LCJ: J O’Wylie.



Of the Rebel leaders who were executed (says “Wayfarer” in the ‘Nation’) MacBride’s bearing was the most soldierly. The officer in charge of the firing party showed (I am told) some emotion. MacBride said gently “Do not let what you have to do ever disturb your rest”. And when it was proposed to blind his eyes he refused and said: “I’ve been looking down rifle barrels all my life. Fire when I bow my head”.


A special correspondent of the Central News in Dublin writes – From a mother of Patrick Pearse, the executed rebel leader, it appears that the President of the short-lived Irish Republic had from childhood been possessed by a presentment that he would one day give his life for Ireland and had actually been under a vow, since his early years to fight for Irish liberty. The story, as related by Mrs. Pearse, is as follows: “When Pat and Willie (Pearse’s brother, who was also shot) were only small boys, the elder only about ten, made a solemn agreement, as I found out myself only a few weeks ago, to fight for Ireland. It was Willie told me the tale:

It was one winter’s night, mother he said, “after we had been reading a lot about Robert Emmett and the men of ’98 and were wondering when Ireland would be free. I noticed Pat was very thoughtful, and I could not make it out, but I thought it was only his way, and I didn’t say anything. We were both undressed, and were just about to get into bed when as we knelt down to say our prayers, Pat turned to me and said:- ‘Listen, Willie I want you to tell me do you love Ireland with all your heart and soul’. So I said Yes. ‘Would you dare to fight for her then?’ added Pat. I said I would. ‘Would you be willing even to die for her if it was necessary?’ he asked. So I said yes, and I noticed he looked mighty queer and solemn about it. I asked him what he meant, and it was then he told me. ‘Well Willie’, he said, ‘it’s my ambition to give my life up to the liberation of Ireland. Will you throw in your lot with me and help me with all your power?”
“Thereupon”, continued Mrs Pearse “the two children, quite unknown to myself, knelt down at their bedside and offered themselves to that work of freeing Ireland. I always noticed how they stuck to each other through life and helped each other day by day and how Willie gave up his own profession, which was that of sculptor, in order to help Pat with the school. But I never guessed anything. I knew they were drilling, but they did not even tell me of the rising until the very end for fear of upsetting me. Then Pat came over on his bicycle on Sunday afternoon to bid me goodbye. ‘Perhaps the last goodbye’ he said, I remember and then went off.
“It was only in the dark days that ensued that my mind went back to this story, when I thought every gun that was booming away in Dublin was giving him his wish. And I also remembered only last St. Enda’s Day, when he made his last speech at St. Enda’s (the school near Dublin of which Patrick Pearse was head master). He had spoken of the work of his life as nearing completion. He would often say ‘Ireland is still unconquered and she is still unconquerable’. I believe those were his last words just before his death though they were not allowed to make speeches, and even the poems he wrote in prison were not given to me.”
Asked whether her sons ever thought they had a chance of winning, Mrs. Pearse replied: “No, they knew they would fail but, as Pat said to me “the fight would save Ireland’s soul.” They were only just in time, and they knew it, for another hour and the whole thing would have been suppressed without a single shot and the death they desired would have been impossible. No; they knew they would fail but they knew good would come of it, and that it was the only way.”






At the meeting of the Clare County Council on Monday,
Mr. O’Regan said as a result of conversations between members of the Council he had been requested to submit the following resolution for adoption :–
“That believing it is our duty at this crisis in the history of our country to courageously voice the almost unanimous feelings of the people we represent, in the hope that it will check the rigor (if not cause its abandonment) with which Military Law is being now enforced on our people, and in the hope that Parliament will realise the present position of affairs in this country.
“That we hereby place on record our abhorrence of the drastic punishment meted out to the patriotic but misguided leaders of the late attempt to set up an Irish Republic.
“That we endorse the condemnation of the Military Authorities by Mr. John Dillon, M.P. voicing the opinion of Mr. John Redmond, M.P. , the Irish Party and the Irish Nation, and demand the strictest public investigation by an impartial committee of inquiry
into the shooting without trial of numerous unarmed men, such as Messrs. Sheehy-Skeffington, McIntyre, and Dickson, and into the alleged murder in King Street, Dublin and elsewhere, by the soldiery, of men and boys who were either non participants in the rebellion or who were surrendered and unarmed prisoners in custody.”
“It needs no words of mine”, added Mr. O’Regan, “to recommend it to your adoption.”
Mr. Maguire seconded the resolution. Mr. Crowley said he agreed to the resolution with the exception of the words “voicing the opinion of Mr. John Redmond, M.P., and the Irish Party”. He would not go into the matter further presently, but he was not surprised that those men had been shot down in Dublin when he found public men in Ireland and in the county condemning their action before they knew what was the matter at all. Apparently they wanted to work up something to suit the palate of the Englis people and show their “shoneen” loyalty to a Government that persecuted them all their lives. They might have made a big mistake, but there is no doubt that they were brave men and mud should not be flung at them.
Continuing, Mr. Crowley said he would dissent from the words “voicing the opinion of Mr. John Redmond, M.P. and the Irish Party.”
Later on, Mr. O’Regan read the following resolution, which he said he had amended proposing with the resolution: -
“That we are annoyed at the deportation of a member of this Council, Mr. Denis Healy, whose only crime appears to be that he refused to give his name when challenged by a sentry not far from his home and call upon the Government to immediately release both Mr. Healy and the other Claremen who are in custody, no attempt of any kind towards assisting in the recent rising having been made in Clare. That copies of this resolution be sent to the Prime Minister, Lloyd George, John Redmond M.P. and General Maxwell.”
Mr. J. Lynch proposed the resolution and Mr. G. Frost seconded.
Mr. Brohan regretted he was not there when the resolution bearing on the Insurrection and referring to Mr. Redmond and his Party was adopted. He would not have supported it in the form which it was.
Mr. O’Regan – I take it your attitude would be that of Mr. Crowley’s?
Mr. Brohan – Yes.
Mr. Brohan was then taken as dissenting from the motion to which Mr. Crowly had also taken exception.
The resolution was then adopted.
A resolution was read from the Tullamore Urban Council condemning the rising and calling on Irishmen to support Mr. Redmond.
Mr. Brohan – I propose that you mark the resolution read. The people of Tullamore were never Home Rulers, and never until now were followers of Mr. Redmond.
Mr. Crowley – I second you.
Mr. Garry – I propose the adoption of the resolution.
Eventually it was marked read.
Mr. Maguire said in connection with the resolution which was proposed regarding the imprisonment of a member of the Council, he was afraid that the mere proposing of a resolution and the seconding of it - as it had been seconded by every member of the Council - and a record of it placed on the books as part of the ordinary business of the County Council – he was afraid that that was a chilly way to treat a matter that affected so much the liberty of the subject, and the dignity of the Council. He could not conceive anything more hurtful to public opinion, or anything that would tend to create a worse or more unfavourable impression on the minds of the people as regards the Government than the arresting of prominent public men - useful members of public boards – on a mere pretext of an offence against the law. He was as anxious as any member of the Council to see that the law was obeyed, and to see that they lived in a state of peace, and that the authority of people, properly constructed, was respected, but he thought that both the authority and the xxx should be exercised with greater discretion and moderation. Mr Healy might have made a mistake - he did not know if it could be anything more – a man refusing to give his name and to account for himself. That might be regrettable but he thought it was very poor … for his arrest under the Defence of the Realm Act and his continued imprisonment… [Illegible section].


His Honour Judge Bodkin K.C. opened the business of the Ennis Quarter Sessions on Wednesday. There was no criminal business, and Major Cullinan had much pleasure in presenting His Honour with white gloves. His Honour expressed pleasure at receiving that testimonial. The fact that he has received them so often in Clare already did not diminish the pleasure of continuing to receive them. It was pleasing, so far as his Court was concerned, to see that Clare was progressing favourably towards perfection. It was still more pleasing that this should be the case, because during the recent trouble Clare – though its enemies might have counted on its being one of the first counties to go into the insurrection remained perfectly peaceful. There was not a single disturbance. Clare was an example to the rest of Ireland.

The 1916 Rising in the Clare Newspapers