Oration of P. H. Pearse over Rossa’s Grave (1915)
Book ID: 65086
Oration of P. H. Pearse over Rossa’s Grave. Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. August 1st, 1915. Single sheet, framed & glazed [50 x 47cm].
Published by Fergus O’Connor, the republican activist and associate of Thomas Ashe and Sean O’Casey, for distribution on the streets of Dublin in the days after the O’Donovan Rossa funeral.
Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa was one of the founders of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He spent a number of terms in prison before being exiled to America, from where he continued to direct Fenian activities. His death in 1915 gave the IRB a propaganda opportunity by bringing his body back to Ireland for a large public funeral in Glasnevin cemetery.
This oration delivered at the graveside by Patrick Pearse is considered to be a “masterpiece of patriotic rhetoric”, containing as it does the iconic ending “– 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.” It has been argued that this funeral, with it’s prominent involvement of the Irish Volunteers, starts the countdown to the Rebellion of 1916, when again Pearse makes a defining oration, reading the Proclamation of the Irish Republic from outside the GPO in Sackville Street.