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Location: Dublin, Ireland

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Stop 9: 1916 Corridor: 1916



In an address delivered at the Emmet Commemoration in the Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York in 1914 (March 2nd), Patrick Pearse, who was himself to be a very prominent executee in this jail and in Irish Repblican History, said of Robert Emmet,

"No failure, judged as the world judges these things, was ever more complete, more pathetic than Emmet's. And yet he has left us a prouder memory than the memory of Brian victorious at Clontarf or of Owen Roe victorious at Benburb. It is the memory of a sacrifice Christ-like in its perfection. Dowered with all things splendid and sweet, he left all things and elected to die. Face to face with England in the dock at Green Street he uttered the most memorable words ever uttered by an Irishman; words which, ringing clear above a century's tumults, forbid us ever to waver or grow weary until our country takes her place among the nations of the earth.”

The poem, 'The rebel' by Patrick Pearse contains all the elements that constitute the profile of the martyr figure:

1. Fighting against injustice on behalf of an oppressed peple

2. Following the example of Jesus Christ in making the greatest contribution through death in self-sacrifice for the future generations.

3. Forewarning those that would carry out the execution of their future downfall that these actions will bring about.

The Rebel:

Verse III:
And because I am of the people, I understand the people,
I am sorrowful with thier sorrow, I am hungry with their desire:
My heart has been heavy with the grief of mothers,
My eyes have been wet with the tears of children.
I have yearned with old wistful men,
And laughed or cursed with young men;
Their shame is my shame, and I have reddened for it,
Reddened for that they have gone in want, while others have been full,
Reddened for that they have walked in fear of lawyers and of their jailers
With their writs of summons and their handcuffs,
Men mean and cruel!
I could have borne stripes on my body rather than this shame of my people.

And now I speak being full of vision;
I speak to my people, and I speak in my people's name to the masters of my people.
I say to my people that they are holy, that they are august, despite their chains,
That they are greater than those that hold them, and stronger and purer,
That they have but need of courage, and to call on the name of their God,
God the unforgetting, the dear God that loves the peoples
For whom He died naked, suffering shame.
And I say to my people's masters: Beware,
Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people,
Who shall take what ye would not give. Did ye think to conquer the people,
Or that Law is stronger than life and than men's desire to be free?
We will try it out with you, ye that have harried and held,
Ye that have bullied and bribed, tyrants, hypocrites, liars.


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