Just before my Mother-in-Law, Mary Rose Bourke, died in September 2006, Roma saved some old photos and letters that Mary Rose had at home and was about to throw out. Interestingly, included were several very old letters, documents, and photos dating back to the early parts of the 20th century. Roma's grand-aunt, Eileen Ryan, was an aquaintance of Margaret Pearse - Patrick's mother. Eileen also attended Pearse's school for girls (St Ita's in Ranelagh).
I'll post a few items on this blog about this as it is facinating that these documents were kept in Roma's family for over 80 years. Eileen Ryan died on 29th July 1923. Her sister (Gabrielle) was Roma's paternal grandmother.
Perhaps the most interesting photograph is one of Patrick Pearse as a school boy. Pearse was born in 1879, so the picture shown to the left was probably taken in the 1890's - he looks about 12-14 years old in this photo.
Ruth Dudley Edwards, in her excellent biography of Pearse "Patrick Pearse - The Triumph of Failure" shows a copy of the photograph among others in the centre section. It is simply labelled "Schoolboy" with no reference to it in the text, or in the bibliography.
I suspect this is quite a valuable photo. I have been to the Pearse Museum in Rathfarnham and did not see a copy of this photo there. I have also Googled it, but have not found it. Several Pearse and 1916 memorabilia have been auctioned in the recent past (see Adam's Independence auction results). In the run up to 2016, there are sure to be many more auctions and renewed interest in early 20th century memorabilia related to 1916.
I have made several efforts to contact the Pearse Museum through email and telephone. Roma feels that even though the documents might be valuable, if the museum are interested in them she would like to donate, or lend, to the museum.
Today, 3rd May 2008, is the 92nd anniversary of Pearse's execution by firing squad in Kilmainham Jail.