Padraig Pearse is to become a movie star – almost a hundred years after he led the Easter Rising that changed the course of Irish history forever.
An incredible new film ahead of the centennial of the 1916 Rising features rare footage of Pearse’s famous oration at the graveside of Irish republican Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.
The fascinating footage is included in a new film about the rebellion which is to be launched next week.
The Irish Times reports that the grainy footage was used as a propaganda tool for Irish republicans, who were struggling to win support in advance of the Rising.
O’Donovan Rossa was buried on August 1, 1915 after he was repatriated back to Ireland from America.
The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), the forerunner to the IRA, used his funeral to display as a show of strength, including firing a volley over his coffin.
The 30 minute movie, entitled ‘Ireland: the Birth of a Nation’, shows Pearse giving the graveside oration.
It includes the famous conclusion to the oration when Pearse called the Irish nation to arms just eight months before the Easter Rising.
He said: “They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half.
“They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! - they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”
The footage has been sourced from British Pathé archives.
The short film will be shown daily at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin from today.
Filmmaker Gerald McCarthy says it is aimed at visitors to Ireland who are looking for a succinct version of the Irish independence story.
Translations of the film’s narrative are available in German, French, Spanish and Italian.
The Irish Times reports that the film starts with footage of both O’Connell Street and St Stephen’s Green from 1897, the oldest footage ever shot in Ireland.
Along with Pearse, the movie also features Roger Casement, James Connolly, Eamonn Ceannt, Thomas Clarke and Erskine Childers.
Michael Collins also appears, smiling and joking at the wedding of General Seán Mac Eoin.
More details are available here.