Earlier this month I attended an open day at St. Enda’s Park in Rathfarnham to celebrate Patrick Pearse’s contribution to Irish arts and culture.
The ceremony in St. Enda’s was part of An Teanga Bheo, which is part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. President Michael D. Higgins began proceedings and this was followed by the reading of an excerpt from ‘Aeridheacht: Taking the Air’ by 35 young performers aged between 13 and 24 from Tallaght Community Arts Group.
An Teanga Bheo, one of the seven Ireland 2016 programme strands, celebrates the role and importance of the Irish language through a diverse programme of events. The revival of the Irish language was a core ambition of what came to be known as the ‘Revolutionary Generation’. The vision of an independent Ireland with its own spoken and written language as the foundation stone of its unique culture informed much of the thinking of the 1916 leaders.
I am delighted that my Office, the Office of Public Works, has marked the Centenary year with a new permanent exhibition on the life of Patrick Pearse here in the Pearse Museum. The exhibition explores the question ‘Who is Pearse’ with an intriguing glimpse into the distinct phases of Pearse’s life using artefacts, film footage and poignantly, the cups and saucers used by Patrick and his brother William at their final family meal in St. Enda’s. I would also encourage all to visit the Wayfarer Sculpture in the walled garden, which incorporates the text of Pearse’s last poem. It is a particularly fitting memorial as his father James and his brother William were stone carvers.