Militaria Archive

Padraig Pearse Museum - St Enda's Park, Dublin, Ireland

In September 1908 Padraig Pearse opened St Enda's school (Scoil √Čanna) in Cullenswood House, Ranelagh, Dublin.

The original newspaper advert announcing it's arrival ran:
An Irish Ireland Boarding and Day School for Catholic Boys. Head Master-P.H.Pearse, B.A., Barrister-at-Law, Second Master-Thomas McDonagh (Late of Rockwell College, Cashel, and St.Colmans College, Fermoy). Assisted by a Staff of Six Professors. Spacious Schoolhouse and Grounds. Apart from it's distinctively National standpoint St.Enda's School will adopt several new and important principles in educational aim and method. Features of it's system will be the Direct Method Teaching of Modern Languages and Bilingual instruction in all other branches. It wil devote special attention to Science and "Modern" Subjects generall. While aiming at producing scholars, St. Enda's will aim in the first place at producing strong, noble and useful men. The domestic arrangements will be in charge of an experienced lady. First Term Opens 7th September 1908. For prospectus apply to the HEAD MASTER.

St Enda's was funded by prominent Irish Nationalists and was designed to be a school with an entirely Gaelic ethos. Teaching the Irish language, history, literature, music and nature studies. Padraig Pearse was Headmaster, brother Willie Pearse a teacher as was Thomas MacDonagh and Con Colbert. All Irish revolutionaries and later executed by the British for their part in the Irish Easter Rising of 1916. Of this school the Gaelic League newspaper An Claidheamh Soluis said it 'will be a nursery of character, intellect, patriotism and virtue, which may eventually exert a benign influence on the private and public life of our country'. Many pupils performed in plays the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and were intended to enrich the cultural life of Republican Ireland. Some pupils were also to join Fianna Eireann and the IRB, 15 of whom also took part in the Rising.

In 1910 the school moved to The Hermitage buiding in Rathfarnham, a majestic building in a beautiful pastoral setting. The building had an association with Robert Emmett, an Irish protestant who sympathised with the nationalist Irish and became a leader, hung, drawn and quartered for his role in the 1803 rebellion against British rule in Ireland. Emmett had courted Sarah Curran in the grounds of the Hermitage building and this connection to Emmett was a motivating factor in Pearse moving his school to this location. The building today is a museum of St Enda's, it also features the Emmett execution block and at the time of these photographs it had a temporary exhibition relating to the Kilmainham Jail restoration project. Also featured throughout the museum are Pearse artifacts, photographs, documents, a 1798 rebellion pike head and a canon ball said to have been used at the 1690 siege of Limerick. Also featured are several pieces of sculpture by the Pearse family. Following the success of St. Enda's school Pearse also opened St. Ita's school for girls however insufficient funding combined with the increased costs of the Hermitage building meant finances were always a challenge.References, 1, 2, 3,