Kilmainham Gaol text Collection title

Margaret Pearse Snr.

Biography

Margaret Pearse (nee Brady) was born and raised in Dublin, and worked in a stationer’s shop until her marriage to James Pearse, an English sculptor, in 1877. She had a strong nationalist outlook, which she passed on to her four children, most notably Patrick. She later worked at St. Enda’s College and supported both of her sons as they prepared to participate in the Easter Rising. Following the executions of Patrick and William, Margaret sought to perpetuate her sons’ legacies through a commitment to both nationalism and the maintenance of St. Enda’s. She joined Sinn Féin and spoke at the reception of the First Dáil, before being elected to the body in 1921 as representative of Dublin County. She spoke against the Anglo-Irish Treaty, insisting that her sons would have done the same, but subsequently lost her seat in 1922. Having been targeted by the Black and Tans during the War of Independence, her house was also raided by the National Army during the Civil War. Pearse continued to act as a figurehead in the republican movement and became a supporter of Fianna Fáil. She died in 1932, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery following a state funeral.


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