A letter of surrender written by Patrick Pearse on April 30, 1916, three days before his execution, will be on display in the GPO Witness History visitor center in Dublin between September 27 and November 28.
The 1916 Rising leader’s last official letter, written from Arbour Hill Prison three days before his execution, urged rebels who were held up in the Four Courts to surrender to the British. After reading the letter, the commander of the rebels laid down his arms and surrendered.
The letter reads: “‘In order to prevent further slaughter of the civil population and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers, the members of the Provisional Government present at headquarters have decided on an unconditional surrender, and commandants or officers commanding districts will order their commands to lay down arms. P.H.Pearse, Dublin, 30th April 1916.”
At GPO Witness History, located in the heart of the historic GPO on Dublin’s O’Connell Street, visitors will be able to view the original letter and learn more about the circumstances surrounding it.
Aline FitzGerald, the General Manager of GPO Witness History, is pleased with the acquisition. “It is our privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to display this document, never previously accessible to the public, and of such historic significance,” FitzGerald.
Stuart Cole, Director of Adams Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers said, “This is a unique part of Irish history and we are delighted that it will be on display at the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre prior to it being auctioned. It is expected to achieve in the region of €1 million to €1.5 million [ $1.1m to $1.68m] at the end of November.”
The letter forms just one part of the visitor experience. GPO Witness History is an immersive, interactive visitor attraction bringing history to life though technology, video, sound and authentic artefacts. For more information on the museum visit www.gpowitnesshistory.ie.