Thought for the Day From Padraig Pearse

Especially for the Muslims and Mujahideen of Chechnya, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Palestine, Mindanao, and in every place and for all those who resist tyrannical empires, in whatever way, all over the world.

This is from the statement of Pearse at the courtmartial conducted after the 1916 Rising. Pearse read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic at the Dublin General Post Office on 24 April 1916. On 29 April 1916 Pearse surrendered on behalf of the Volunteers to the British army to prevent further civilian loss of life. After the courtmartial he was executed on 3 May 1916 by firing squad.

“From my earliest youth I have regarded the connection between Ireland and Great Britain as the curse of the Irish nation, and felt convinced that while it lasted this country could never be free or happy. When I was a child of ten, I went on my bare knees by my bedside one night and promised God that I should devote my Life to an effort to free my country. I have kept the promise. I have helped to organise, to train, and to discipline my fellow-countrymen to the sole end that, when the time came, they might fight for Irish freedom. The time, as it seemed to me, did come, and we went into the fight. I am glad that we did. We seem to have lost; but we have not lost. To refuse to fight would have been to lose; to fight is to win. We have kept faith with the past, and handed on its tradition to the future. I repudiate the assertion of the Prosecutor that I sought to aid and abet England’s enemy. Germany is no more to me than England is. I asked and accepted German aid in the shape of arms and an expeditionary force; we neither asked for nor accepted German gold, nor had any traffic with Germany but what I state. My object was to win Irish freedom. We struck the first blow ourselves, but I should have been glad of an ally’s aid. I assume that I am speaking to Englishmen who value their freedom, and who profess to be fighting for the freedom of Belgium and Serbia. Believe that we too love freedom and desire it. To us it is more than anything else in the world. If you strike us down now, we shall rise again, and renew the fight. You cannot conquer Ireland; you cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom, then our children will win it by a better deed.”

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One Response to “Thought for the Day From Padraig Pearse”

  1. Marryam Says:

    Beautiful passage. Padraig Pearse was a truly great person. His articulation of the Irish position was always dead-on. And his writing in general is so universal, it defies time and space.

    I pray he was sincere and that God has rewarded him for his efforts with the best of the next life.

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