Taoiseach to launch Rising centenary project

Kenny to turn first sod at new visitor centre at Pádraig Pearse’s cottage in Rosmuc, Connemara

 Pádraig Pearse:  While living in Rosmuc, he penned the historic oration which he  delivered at the grave of O’Donovan Rossa  in 1915. Photograph courtesy of the National Archives of Ireland

Pádraig Pearse: While living in Rosmuc, he penned the historic oration which he delivered at the grave of O’Donovan Rossa in 1915. Photograph courtesy of the National Archives of Ireland

 

The Taoiseach will launch one of the flagship projects marking the centenary of the 1916 Rising on Monday. Enda Kenny will turn the first sod at the new visitor centre at Pádraig Pearse’s Cottage in Rosmuc, Connemara.

Pearse spent much of his time between 1903 and 1915 at the cottage he had built as a holiday home. A Dublin native, he had come to Rosmuc as an examiner for Conradh na Gaeilge and was so taken with the area that he immediately arranged to have the holiday cottage built.

The project was completed by local men who charged him a nominal sum for their labour, but they later had to take a civil action against the 1916 leader for unpaid bills. The interior, although burned during the War of Independence, has been reconstructed and contains an exhibition.

While living in Rosmuc, Pearse penned the historic oration which he would deliver at the grave of O’Donovan Rossa in August 1915. “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace” were the climactic closing words of the oration and they added significantly to rousing Irish republican feeling in the lead-up to the Easter Rising.

The cottage attracts thousands of visitors annually and a local committee lobbied for years to have an appropriate project constructed to mark its historic links to Pearse. Údarás na Gaeltachta is now leading the development and it is hoped that construction will be completed in time for the 2016 celebrations.

The €4 million visitor centre will be linked to the cottage by a walkway included in the overall plan. Fáilte Ireland has committed €750,000 towards the project last week.

While in Connemara, the Taoiseach will also visit the site of the Emigrants Commemorative Centre in Carna, where he will be lobbied for a deep sea harbour in the port of Rossaveal.