The Fools, The Fools, The Fools

at

FIGHT!

Any excuse.

Ireland Unfree Shall Never Be At Peace

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa?

27 thoughts on “The Fools, The Fools, The Fools

  1. Christy Mahon snr

    The astonishing thing here is that many of the men gathered are standing on what will be their own graves in the Republican plot.

  2. Christy Mahon snr

    The astonishing thing here is that many of the men gathered are standing on what will be their own graves in the Republican plot. Tomas McDonagh is to the left of the priest. Liam Lynch is beside Pearse, Tom Clarke is beside the bearded man on the right of Pearse. Douglas Hyde is behind Pearse.

  3. martco

    yawn, yeah whatever Victorian dad

    I’ve no time for this historical replay-attack nonsense. Grand in the history books, whatever.

    Ireland has moved on & as far as I’m concerned you can keep yer Padraig Pearse schtick in the museum.

    Hey Broadsheet, how about a strawpoll article on the endgame, 32 counties Y/N? maybe pitch up 3 or 4 different setups…eg. Germany relocates half of Volkswagen here + we get €15Bil per annum for 20 years from EU/GB

    etc..

    ?

  4. Ben Redmond

    Douglas Hyde was a man of peace. He didn’t like Pearse’s temperament and distanced himself from the Gaelic League when the physical force side of ‘the movement’ got into key roles. We should not judge Pearse mainly according to this dramatic speech and the last lines. In his better moods Pearse was an educational and political thinker. His essays should be anthologised in school readers.

    1. Slightly Bemused

      I was at a conference a goodly number of years ago in a country far from these shores. After the panel of so called intellectuals had finished their waffling, I was given a chance to ask a question. I started with ‘Since wise men have not spoken, I speak that am only a fool’. I was pleasantly surprised by the round of laughter, but more particularly the applause from those who, while not Irish or English, recognised the source.
      He had some good moments in poetry, prose and, as you say, political analysis. While I do not agree with everything he said, it is an interesting insight not just into his mind, but also into that time.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        I went through a Pearse phase in the summer after the Leaving – read his stuff properly, visited St. Enda’s, Glasnevin, Arbour Hill, Kilmainham. Quietly committed and a profound political thinker. Often thought he seemed too introvert to be a leader.

        1. Slightly Bemused

          Many leaders are introverted at first. It seems it takes something extraordinary for them to break out and rise up.
          I have read a number of articles and analyses that say it was Rossa’s death, and the failure of his more pacifist opposition style, that caused Pearse to strike out as a more revolutionary leader.

          1. Liam Deliverance

            The Wayfarer

            The beauty of the world hath made me sad,
            This beauty that will pass;
            Sometimes my heart hath shaken with great joy
            To see a leaping squirrel in a tree,
            Or a red lady-bird upon a stalk,
            Or little rabbits in a field at evening,
            Lit by a slanting sun,
            Or some green hill where shadows drifted by
            Some quiet hill where mountainy man hath sown
            And soon would reap; near to the gate of Heaven;
            Or children with bare feet upon the sands
            Of some ebbed sea, or playing on the streets
            Of little towns in Connacht,
            Things young and happy.
            And then my heart hath told me:
            These will pass,
            Will pass and change, will die and be no more,
            Things bright and green, things young and happy;
            And I have gone upon my way
            Sorrowful.

  5. Slightly Bemused

    A teacher at my school would read out this every year: the full version, not the sanitised one on the government websites.

    1. Paulus

      This is sometimes recited at Glasnevin Cemetery tours by a volunteer/actor/enthusiast in uniform.
      He does it from memory!

  6. Ben Redmond

    We are not brought up to consider the thinking side of 1916 and other people of the time. Connolly was a thinker and a scholar. So was Arthur Griffith. Other nonpolitical figures like George Russell AE and Horace Plunkett of the co-operative movement were thinkers as well as doers. We don’t have to agree with their thoughts but realise that the Gaelic revival started in 1893 by Douglas Hyde drew in a lot of thinking individuals from literary, linguistic and economic backgrounds. Anthologies of their assorted writings (I stress ‘assorted’) could help this and future generations to realise that the Irish revolution was concerned with the overall improvement and life chances of Irish humanity.

  7. Kingfisher

    Context: the First World War – a fight between capitalists using the bloody corpses of the young as their proxy – was in full swing (35,500 Irishmen were killed and untold hundreds of thousands maimed and ruined in this hideous slaughter); even as Pearse, MacDonagh and their heroic few stood in the graveyard at Glasnevin the ships were being readied for the attack on Suvla Bay, where Irishmen serving in the British army were sent out without ammunition or adequate artillery support (one casualty was a Rathmines cricketer, only son of a widowed father, who bowled back four Turkish grenades before the fifth killed him and those in his dugout). Nine of the Irish international rugby squad were killed in that war… England was the occupying power in four-fifths of the globe at this time. Ireland was where England’s troops were stored; Dublin and towns like Fermoy had major garrisons of the heavily-armed British troops. Even the police were armed with carbines.
    These men in your photograph went out to fight the dominant world superpower armed largely with obsolete guns 50 years old, pikes and revolvers, facing city-destroying artillery and machine guns. Their extraordinary fight and the typical brutality of the English response was the inspiration for revolutions from Russia to India – and for the revolution that won Ireland independence – not only through fighting but through passive resistance by a population that refused to pay taxes to England, boycotted banks and ran a parallel system of courts.
    The fools, the fools, the fools, you say?

    1. Papi

      That’s a great piece, but the fools refer to the English, for “leaving us our fenian dead”. Or maybe I’m reading the last bit incorrectly. It happens.

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