Willie Pearse

Willie Pearse


William "Willie" Pearse was a younger brother of Patrick Pearse, a leader of the Rising. He followed his brother into the Irish Volunteers and the Republican movement, taking part in the Easter Rising in 1916 at the General Post Office. Following the surrender he was court-martialled and sentenced to be shot. He was executed on the 4 May 1916.

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Paperback: 320 pages
Size:196x130 mm
ISBN: 9781847172679

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ISBN: 9781847177483

Series: 16Lives

Willie Pearse was a well-regarded sculptor who ran the family stone-carving business, but he was also a dynamic activist whose life offers fresh insights into political and cultural life before 1916. History has placed him in the shadow of his brother Patrick, but whether it was nationalism, education or the cultural revival, Willie shared in these activities as an equal.

Being Patrick’s right-hand man in the weeks preceding the Rising, he played an important role in making it happen. His gentle character and wide circle of friends meant that his execution on 4 May 1916 shocked even those who had little sympathy with the rebels and helped turn public opinion in their favour. In this book, using new sources, Róisin Ní Ghairbhi shows conclusively that, far from being dominated by his brother, Willie Pearse was always decidedly his own man.

Róisín Ní Ghairbhí

Dr Róisín Ní Ghairbhí is a lecturer in the Department of Irish, St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University. She is co-editor with Eugene McNulty of Patrick Pearse, Collected Plays/Drámaí an Phiarsaigh (Irish Academic Press, 2013). She has published widely on various aspects of modern Irish literature and culture and is active in various cultural organisations, including the Imram literary festival and Conradh na Gaeilge.

Willie Pearse is usually seen as an unfortunate adjunct to his more prominent brother, but Ni Ghairbhi paints a fascinating picture of his life and career

History Ireland
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