Thursday, March 31, 2016

Eileen Ryan School Report from 1912 - St Ita's School, Ranelagh #1916 #276

The story of Eileen Ryan is not mine to tell. She is a grand-aunt of my wife Roma and I am not related to her (though I am concious that my three daughters are her great-grand-nieces). The collection of documents that are contained in the Eileen Ryan Collection have been reviewed by a specialist in Pearse family memorabilia, and an auctioneer specializing in 1916 memorabilia. Both found the collection interesting for its curiosity rather than value - a Mayo historian specializing in local women who were involved in Irish Independence had never heard of her. The Collection also contains private letters that with one exception, a letter to Eileen from Margaret Pearse (Patrick and Willie's mother), have no historical value. I'll not publish these letters here - I'll leave it to my in-laws and daughters to decide what to do with them.

One interesting document about Eileen Ryan that I can publish is a school report for her for the 1911/1912 academic year - she was a boarder at St Ita's Girl's School on Oakley Road in Ranelagh. This school was a partner of the better known St Enda's School for boys in Rathfarnham - both were run by the Pearse brothers and their family. The school clearly had very few boarders - on census night in 1911 there were 11 girls listed (all names in Irish) - including the then 17 year old Eibhlín Ní Riain. Details from the 1911 Census return form are also shown below. 

In her school report, Eileen is described as a "very fine girl" and a "favourite" of teachers and other girls. The report lists her subjects as mostly "Good" with Mathematics just "Fair". One of her teachers was nationalist (and suffragette) Louise Gavin Duffy - her brother George Gavin Duffy was later a reluctant signatory of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921. Interestingly, LGD predicts that Eileen will not "pass Matriculation" - then an exam for entry to University.

The report is printed on St Enda's School notepaper - possibly because the cost of printing extra report papers for St Ita's could not be met by the always cash-strapped schools. The report is signed at the end by Patrick Pearse, the Head Master of both schools.

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Screen capture from 1911 Census.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Clause by Clause - A Comparison between The Treaty and Document No. 2" Part IV #1916 #277

Today I'm posting the final part of the "Clause by Clause" pamphlet, written by Erskine Childers, from the Eileen Ryan Collection. Unusually in the document there is general agreement about finances in relation to debt and payment of war pensions. On page 14 reference is made in the Treaty to the infamous Boundary Commission (that did nothing) and Partition. Childers states that the Treaty delegation were "tricked" with the Boundary Commission promise of large areas to be "lopped off the Six Counties and returned to the Free State". This of course never happened. In Document No. 2, Childers regards relations between what he referred to as "North-East Ulster" and Ireland should be a domestic issue - with the North getting a "subordinate Parliament with local powers". This didn't happen either. The remainder of page 14 lists the naval bases to be retained by the British about which there is agreement between the two documents. While there is general agreement about matters such as "Oil Fuel Storage" on page 15 - Document No 2 prefers a five year period rather than the open ended terms in the Treaty. There is still a little bitchiness from Childers' use of words in referring to the "Government of Ireland" rather than the Treaty's "Government of the Irish Free State" - remember, the Treaty had not yet been ratified by the Dáil.

Finally - the last page is an ad for other pamphlets which included writings by Éamon de Valera and P.H. Pearse. They are numbered 1-7 and 9, the "Clause by Clause" document is numbered "8" on the front cover and is clearly part if this series.

My final reflection on this document is that I think I would have firmly sided with Childers and de Valera in the Treaty debates. Even though the Treaty was passed by the Dáil and a referendum, I find it hard to believe that it was voted through when it contained the likes of the Oath of Allegiance. 

Erskine Childers paid for his republican stance by taking the anti-Treaty side when he was executed on 24th November 1922, aged just 52. His son, Erskine Hamilton Childers, became President of Ireland in 1973.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"Clause by Clause - A Comparison between The Treaty and Document No. 2" Part III #1916 #278

More from the Eileen Ryan Collection...

Continuing with pages 9, 10, 11, and 12 from the "Clause by Clause" pamphlet written by Erskine Childers. Again comparisons are made with Canada with regard to status within the British Commonwealth. Document No 2 recognises again that there would be some association with Britain, but only that there is a "dignified recognition of the Crown as titular head". PAge 10 is all about defence - the British want to protect Ireland with "His Majesty's Imperial Forces", while at the same time allowing Ireland to protect "Revenue or the Fisheries". Needless to say, Document No. 2 argues that Ireland should "provide her own defence by sea, land, and air". De Valera and Childers see the right to defend Ireland as a "fundamental right of nationhood". 

At the end of page 10 and on page 11 the so-called Treaty Ports are discussed. The Treaty wants a permanent presence in the ports (which were Berehaven, Queenstown (modern Cobh) and Lough Swilly), while de Valera's Document No 2 envisages only a five year facility followed by a conference to hand over the ports to Ireland. The ports were eventually handed over to Ireland in 1938. Finally, on page 12 there is a section on "Limitation of Armaments". The Treaty proposes that Ireland limit its arms so that they should not "exceed in size such proportion of the military establishments maintained in Great Britain as that which the population if Ireland bears to the population of Great Britain". Fair Enough. Document No 2 agrees to this, plus offers not to build submarines!

Final part tomorrow.

Monday, March 28, 2016

"Clause by Clause - A Comparison between The Treaty and Document No. 2" Part II #1916 #279

From the Eileen Ryan Collection...

Posted below are pages 5, 6, 7, and 8 from Erskine Childers' "Clause by Clause" pamphlet comparing the Anglo Irish Treaty with Éamon de Valera's Document No. 2. Dev's version is very straight-forward and requires no explanation from Childers in pages 5, 6, and 7. On page 5, the Treaty envisages an Ireland with the same status as Canada with some powers (that could be vetoed by the British) delegated to an Irish Government. Law would still be at the behest of the British with Irish litigants having to "look to England for justice in the last resort". Dev just states that the "Irish people alone" should make its own constitution and laws. He even proposes a "President" instead of authority being derived from the "King of England".

On page 6 there is an interesting piece about the name of the new country - the British justify the name "Irish Free State" largely based on similar precedents like the Orange Free State in South Africa. Dev again gets it right and simple - "Eire : Ireland". Page 6 continues with how a Governor General is to be appointed - again using Canada as an example. Interestingly he would not be bound to "even ask" advice on appointments. The hated Oath of Allegiance is stated in full - Childers refers to it (top of page 8) as a "triple oath, padded and disguised-a thrice-bitter pill with a little jam". Dev again gets it right for me with simple "No English Representative in Ireland" and "No Oath of Allegiance" statements.

Page 8 begins a discussion on the word "Association". This section of the document sees Ireland as being an integral part of the British Empire, while Document No. 2 sees us "In all internal Irish affairs Ireland is an isolated Republic", though it does recognise some relationship with the Empire in matters of "common concern" such as "Defence, Peace and War, Political Treaties".

Though this pamphlet by Childers is blatantly propagandist, and I am only half way through it, I can't believe the Dáil voted for the Treaty and against Document No. 2. No wonder a Civil War was precipitated by this.

More tomorrow.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

"Clause by Clause - A Comparison between The Treaty and Document No. 2" Part I #1916 #280

One very interesting document in the Eileen Ryan Collection comes from 1922 and was written by Erskine Childers. It is 16 pages long and I'll publish it in full here in four parts. In the document, Childers shows on one side of each page the treaty signed with the British on 6th December 1921, and on the other side an alternative version known as "Document No. 2" written by Éamon de Valera. During the treaty debates, de Valera opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty, but his "Document No. 2" was defeated in a Dáil vote. He subsequently resigned from the Dáil and the Civil War started shortly afterwards. 

It is amazing to think that in just over five years after the 1916 Rising that Britain signed a treaty with Ireland establishing the Irish Free State. Childers wrote the document below probably before hostilities broke out in the Civil War - he was firmly on the Anti-Treaty side, as no doubt was Eileen Ryan since she obviously possessed this document and it was kept in her family for nearly 100 years. Copies of the document are available in the National Library of Ireland where it states that it was published in Dublin by the Irish Nation Committee in 1922.

In the document Childers attempts to "explain the difference" between the Treaty and Document No 2. The first difference is over whether the Treaty was a "treaty" or not. Childers states that it was not a "Treaty of Peace" as the dominion status offered by the treaty could not compare with true independence. You can also see below that de Valera's document was a lot shorter than the treaty as the type is spread out. Childers calls Document No. 2 a "real treaty between Independent Sovereign States" - clearly the British did not yet see Ireland as a real country while the anti-treaty leaders like de Valera and Childers wanted a lot more. The difficulty of Northern Ireland as part of any negotiations gets a mention at the bottom of page three and top of page four - Document No 2 says that the "unity of Ireland is indefeasible" but interestingly it does offer "privileges and safeguards not less substantial" to the "Six Counties" than those offered in the treaty.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

German Catholic Leader Raises the Irish Question #1916 #281

A curious one page leaflet from the Eileen Ryan Collection entitled "German Catholic Leader Raises the Irish Question", is an extract from the Catholic Citizen, Milwaukee, 17 February 1917 in which comment is made on Herr Matthias Erzberger, leader of the German Catholic party on Germany's interest in Ireland's Independence. Erzberger was initially a supporter of the Great War, but later wanted peace. He was later to be the leader of the German delegation at Compiègne on 11th November 1918 at which he signed the armistice to end the war on behalf of Germany. He was considered a traitor by many Germans for this and was murdered on 26th August, 1921 by right wing extremests.

In the leaflet below Erzberger supports the cause of Irish Independence during a speech in the Reichstag. The leaflet in undated, but does refer to the extract from the Catholic Citizen as being from 17th February 1917. I don't know when Erzberger made the speech, but it was most likely late 1916 or very early in 1917. He compares Ireland's situation with that of Belgium - he asks "if Belgium should be free, why not Ireland, far more important to the world than Belgium". Later he demands "the Freedom of this truest and purest of the small nations". Very flattering, but bear in mind that Erzberger was the leader of the Catholic Party in Germany during the war with Britain and her allies. 

In the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, reference is made to "our gallant allies in Europe" - widely thought to be Germany and also a phrase that sealed the fate of many of the 1916 leaders. Erzberger finishes up his speech with an offer to help Ireland achieve independence: "The German sword must do it, if the conscience of the enemy, admitting the right of it, does not do it". Whether Erzberger was really interested in Irish Independence is a good question - perhaps his enemies' enemy was his friend. We know that Germany sent guns to Ireland on the Asgard before the war and and on the Aud in 1916. What would have happened if Germany had won the war we'll never know. Of one thing I'm sure - I doubt very much that the "German sword" would have brought independence or peace to Ireland. Publication of this leaflet in Ireland probably contributed little to the cause of Independence here, but any support abroad was probably latched onto in the propaganda war that followed the 1916 Rising.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Pamphlet: "English Brutality! - The Leopard does not change its spots Nor England her hypocrisy" #1916 #282

No - I have not turned anti-English. I am quoting from the headline on a 4-page pamphlet published in 1917 in support of Irish prisoners from the 1916 Rising who were in English jails at the time. The language and rhetoric of the pamphlet is hard hitting and aimed at eliciting sympathy from the public for the rebels who just a year earlier were vilified by the general Irish public. This pamphlet is part of the Eileen Ryan Collection, and is presented in full below.

The first thing the pamphlet does is have a go at the Freeman's Journal who in 1896 published the cartoon on the first page urging release of prisoners before Death will. Now the Journal is called as "reliable as Cressida" (the faithless lover from Ancient Troy). On page 2 there are several quotes from various doctors who tended to John Daly (one of the names on the cartoon from page 1) following an overdose of medicine pointing the finger of blame at his jailers (referred to as "assassins"). Page 3 quotes extensively from the book "Prison Life - Six Years in English Prisons" by Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, and makes parallels with Countess Markievicz who at that time was in Lewes Jail. Page 4 is an interesting letter from W.P. Partridge dated 21st May 1917 written from his bed (he died later in 1917). This is the same man who was quoted on the "Citizens of Dublin" leaflet I posted about last Sunday. Clearly he was taken to task about the quote on the leaflet and he responds below. He thinks it is a "sin to be a silent witness of their [the prisoners] heroic sacrifice". He had written about the emaciated condition of prisoners from his own observation while in jail - on his death bed he is no longer caring whom he vexes or pleases. He even goes as far as to say that in the case of "the Countess" it would have been more "merciful to have shot her". Finally he reaches out to the international community in the form of General Jan Smuts of South Africa to take note of this "blot" upon civilization. 

All propaganda of course, but effective none-the-less. These prisoners received a hero's welcome when they returned to Dublin following the General Amnesty later in 1917. No doubt pamphlets such as below played a key role in changing public opinion about the 1916 rebels.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Cuala News - May 1st, 1920 #1916 #283

The Rathmines and Pembroke Election Committee produced a four-page copy of The Cuala News - reproduced in full below. It is all about the local elections of 1920 which took place during the War of Independence (1919-1921). It was one of the last elections held in Ireland before independence and the results were an astounding victory for Sinn Féin (then led by Éamon de Valera) who dominated councils (except in Northern Ireland) after this election. The Cuala newsletter was revived for the duration of the election and there may not be that many of these originals left. This one is taken from the Eileen Ryan Collection.

The Cuala News of May 1st, 1920 advocates its readers to strike "an effective blow for Ireland" by placing the "sentinels of Irish nationhood in the Local Councils". "The Plain Issue" section tells its readers that there is "no middle course now, no neutral zone of compromise and barter". The choice for voters is Ireland or "West Britain". Among the candidates (all men) was Alfred McGloughlin whose association with the 1916 leaders is made clear. Also listed was Christopher O'Kelly, brother of a future President of Ireland Séan T Ó Ceallaigh, I haven't been able to find out the results of this election, though given Sinn Féin's success it is likely that most of these men were elected.

On the last page there is a Why-How-When-Where-What to vote section. Bearing in mind that this was 1920 and women has only recently been allowed to vote - it was probably a good idea to explain voting like this. The last point advocates readers to vote "Solidly Republican - and nothing else".

Click to enlarge.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Eileen Ryan Collection - Next Steps #1916 #284

Among the photographs and leaflets gathered by Roma from the Eileen Ryan Collection are some short publications from between 1917 and 1922. These feature a copy of "The Cuala News" from 1st May, 1912, and a "Clause by Clause" pamphlet written by Erskine Childers dating from 1922. The documents are printed on poor quality newspaper-style paper, but despite many folds and tears around the edges - they make for interesting reading from this turbulent period in Irish history.

I'll publish some extracts from each of these over the next few days.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Post 1916 Rising Leaflets - Part IV: "War Against Starvation Wages" #ITGWU #1916 #285

The last of four hand leaflets from the Eileen Ryan Collection is not about rebellion, or independence, or prisoners of war. This one doesn't call for a public meeting - it seems to be just about informing people about a strike in Dublin by coffin makers. Strong language ("scabs", "starvation") is being used and specific "Funeral Undertakers" are named (Corrigan and Fanagan still exist today). What exactly the poor people of Dublin were supposed to do with their dead is not mentioned. The union involved: the Irish Transport and General Worker's Union (ITGWU) is now known as SIPTU, and of course was closely involved with James Connolly and the Irish Citizen Army in 1916. I have not been able to find anything on-line about a coffin maker's strike in Dublin at that time, so I don't know how long it lasted or if it was effective. 

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Post 1916 Rising Leaflets - Part III: "Strike in Lewes Jail" #1916 #286

Public meetings in the aftermath of the Easter Rising in 1916 seemed to have been a very popular way to arouse anger against the British over the treatment of prisoners involved in the 1916 Rising. The leaflet below calls for a meeting at Beresford Place (where the Custom House is located) on 10th June, 1917. The leaflet tugs at a lot of different sentiments from the hunger strike, to prisoners being treatment as lunatics (not POWs), and possibly worst of all for the time - prisoners being "Prevented from going to Mass". This leaflet is one of the four from the Eileen Ryan Collection published on this site. There are a few different versions of this leaflet - see Trinity College's digital collection here for a different version.

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A photograph of the protest meeting at Beresford Place,
and the arrest of Count Plunkett. June 1917.
Image source:
According to Come Here To Me! Dublin Life and Culture website, "On 10 June 1917, Cathal Brugha and Count Plunkett led a group of around 2,000 Sinn Féin supporters into Beresford Place for a meeting called to protest against the detention and treatment of Easter Rising volunteers in Lewes Jail in East Essex, England". At this meeting Brugha and Plunkett were arrested by the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP). As they were being led away to Store Street Station a crowd tried to free the two men - in the scuffles that broke out Inspector John Mills was hit over the head with a hurley stick and died. He death was the first crown forces' fatality since the Rising. His killer got away and was never caught. Inspector Mills was originally from Westmeath and had been a policeman for 30 years. Photographs of DMP members from that time show them wearing helmets rather like those now worn by English "bobbies" - presumably Inspector Mills lost his during the scuffle. Had he been wearing his helmet he would have survived a blow to the head from a hurley. In what have must been a very difficult time to be a policeman, it's sad to think that the leaflet above called for a meeting that led to his death. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Post 1916 Rising Leaflets - Part II: "Citizens of Dublin" #1916 #287

Another leaflet from the Eileen Ryan Collection - once again about Countess Markievicz. There is also reference to 123 "fellow-countrymen" in Lewes Prison, which is near Brighton in the south-east of England. It is known that Éamon de Valera, Harry Boland, and Thomas Ashe were also held there in 1916 and 1917. The W.P. Partridge quoted on the leaflet was a member of James Connolly's Irish Citizen Army. Though suffering from Bright's Disease he took part in the 1916 Rising where he was based in the Royal College of Surgeons. He was released from prison after the Rising "medically labelled for the scrap heap", but died in 1917. There is an excellent account of his life as a trade unionist and activist on the Lough Gara Lakes and Legends website.

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Post 1916 Rising Leaflets - Part I: "A Mass Meeting" #1916 #288

Today I post the first of four copies of hand leaflets published in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising. from the Eileen Ryan Collection. This one is for a "Mass Meeting" to be held in the Mansion House in Dublin on May 21st 1917. Countess Markievicz was released under the general amnesty in 1917 for republicans involved in the 1916 Rising. As my own generation discovered in the late 1970s and early 1980s - republicans would go to great lengths, including hunger-strike, to be recognised as prisoners of war and not criminals or terrorists. Interesting to see that the then President of Sinn Féin, Arthur Griffith, was listed to speak - at this time people were joining the organization in great numbers which lead to a great result in the 1918 General Election for the party. 

Countess Markievicz went on to become the first woman ever elected to the British Parliament, though she did not take her seat. She took the Anti-Treaty side in the Civil War and later became a founding member of Fianna Fáil. She died in 1927.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Prayer from Richmond Prison - 28th May 1916. #1916 #289

One unique item from the Eileen Ryan Collection is a handwritten in pencil prayer written in Richmond Prison on the occasion of hearing Mass in the Barrack Yard, on Sunday May 28th, 1916. We don't know if this is Eileen Ryan's hand writing or how she came into possession of it. She is not listed among the 77 women who were imprisoned in Richmond Barracks, so is unlikely to have been held there. There is a line in the prayer which indicates that it might have been written by a man: "Oh Mother! for the love of thy dear son", thought this of course could be a reference to Our Lady and her son Jesus. There were nearly 3,000 men held there in the weeks after the Rising. 

The prayer was written just over two weeks after the last executions in Dublin. This is referred to as "the wanton exercise of brutal powers" and called "the doom of death". I have Googled many of the lines and not found them on-line. It is interesting to note that this was written "on the occasion of hearing Mass". In a time of strong religious devotion, writing anything during Mass would have been considered sinful and sacrilegious. I hope he/she went to Confession!

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Postcard from St Enda's School - Part II #1916 #290

More from the Eileen Ryan Collection. Below are three more postcards featuring St Enda's School for boys in Rathfarnham founded and managed by Patrick Pearse. These three postcards are part of a collection printed to raise money for the school. A collection of five of these postcards made €160 at a Whyte's auction in 2013 - they are not very rare and not worth a lot of money. 

The first postcard features boys swimming in a "Bathing Pool" - with their arms crossed they look like they are freezing cold! The second is a boring postcard featuring the school's Study Hall. The third looks the most interesting. It is the school's Junior Hurling Team who won the Dublin Schools Cup in 1911. I'm sure that several of these boys went on to fight in the 1916 rising. However, their names are in Irish only on the postcard and I can't tell if any of this team actually took part in the Rising. According to an Irish Times article "1916: The Revolution of the Young" from 23rd September 2015 last: "A large group from St Enda’s Secondary School in Rathfarnham joined Na Fianna, and even the IRB, and 15 of these later joined in the 1916 rebellion". A Junior Cup holders in 1911, I'm guessing that the boys are about 15 or 16 in the photo below, which would make them old enough at 19 or 20 to fight in the Rising. 

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Postcard from St Enda's School - Part I #1916 #291

More from the Eileen Ryan Collection. As a fund raiser postcards depicting life and culture at St Enda's School in Rathfarnham were printed - there are six in the Ryan Collection, three are shown below (three more tomorrow).

The first postcard shows Willie Pearse as Pilate in a Passion play featuring students from Saint Enda's and Saint Ita's schools. The play was produced at the Abbey Theatre in Holy Week 1911. We don't know who the other two guys are. The second postcard also shows strong links to Gaelic culture showing Fionn MacCumhaill and Cuchulainn. The boy on the left is Eamon Bulfin who later was one of the men who raised the tricolour over the GPO in 1916. After the Rising he was captured and sentenced to death, but was later deported to Argentina instead. The second boy is Frank Dowling in the lead role. Patrick Pearse picked him to play the lead role because, according to Pearse, Dowling embodied "in face and figure and manner" the ideal Irish boy, and he was undoubtedly "the comeliest of the boys of Eire" (see article in today's Irish Independent). The third boy is Denis Gwynn who joined the British Army during World War I, and later went on to become an academic at UCD. The third postcard simply shows a scene from the lake at St Enda's.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

More Historic Photos #1916 #292

In the Eileen Ryan Collection there are a few other photos to go with the ones I posted yesterday of Margaret, Patrick, and Willie Pearse. The first is of executed 1916 leader Thomas McDonagh - this is a widely available photo on the Internet. McDonagh was a founder of St Enda's School in Rathfarnham, along with Patrick Pearse, where he was a teacher. I'm sure Eileen Ryan would have known him - she kept his photo until her own death in 1923. McDonagh was commander of the Second Battalion of Volunteers that occupied Jacob’s biscuit factory and surrounding houses during the Rising - this is why he was shot on 3rd May 1916.

The second photo is of a postcard commemorating Thomas Ashe who also took part in the Easter Rising. Ashe was arrested in 1917 for treason. While in prison he and his republican comrades demanded political status. He went on hunger strike on 20th September 1917, but died five days later after being force fed by the British. The poem on the postcard is a fine memorial to this "model of manly grace" - probably published not long after his death.

The final photo is a group photo taken on the steps of St Enda's School in Rathfarnham. We've no idea who the people in the photo are, except that the lady in the front row is Margaret Pearse - mother of Patrick and Willie Pearse. We can't date this photo, though it is likely taken during the years after the 1916 Rising - Mrs Pearse worked hard to keep the school open after her sons' executions. We do not know if Eileen Ryan is in this photo.

Thomas McDonagh.
Thomas Ashe.

Group Photo at St Enda's School, Rathfarnham.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Patrick, Willie, and Margaret Pearse #1916 #293

Like many Irish people in this centenary year of the 1916 Easter Rising I have delved into my family's history to see if there was any participation or stories of O'Loughlin or Byrne (my Mum's maiden name) rebels in the GPO. Unfortunately nothing! All my grandparents were just barely teenagers in 1916, and I have found nothing on my great-grandparents (my great-grandfather James Byrne (Burns) was in the British army getting ready to go over the top for the Battle of the Somme during the Rising. So sadly - no stories to tell, no mementos in the attic, nothing really to write about.

My wife Roma's family are different - plenty of Fenians there! Roma's grand-mother and grand-aunt (Gabrielle and Eileen Ryan from Castlebar) were very involved (as much as women could be) in the Rising. Roma has kindly allowed me to share some of her family heirlooms on this site.

The story in Roma's family is that the Ryan sisters helped to sow on badges and patches for the rebels before they marched to the GPO. Being women, they were not allowed to fight. Eileen had gone to St Ita's School on Oakley Road in Ranelagh - this was the less successful girls version of Patrick Pearse's St Enda's School for Boys in Rathfarnham. Eileen Ryan died on 29th July 1923 at just 29 years of age from TB. Her sister Gabrielle kept all her mementos which were passed on to her son Billy (Roma's Dad). 

We know that Eileen lodged with the Pearse family in Oakley Road. The story is that the Ryan family became friendly with the Pearses when Willie Pearse and his father James were working on the altar and communion railings for the Church of the Holy Rosary in Castlebar, which was completed in 1901. From the Eileen Ryan Collection, below are scans of some photos that have been passed down to Roma from 1916. More memorabilia this week.

Patrick Pearse as a boy.

Margaret Pearse (Patrick and Willie's mother).
Margaret Pearse.
(The signature below is on the back of this photo).

Willie and Patrick Pearse.
(The signature below is on the back of this photo).

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