Patrick Pearse: proto-fascist eccentric or visionary?
Whatever one’s point of view, Patrick Pearse has always engendered strong emotions. Shortly after the Easter Rising, he became widely revered, some even suggesting he should be made a saint. In the decades surrounding the outbreak of the troubles in Northern Ireland, however, he was frequently described as a ‘fascist’. In recent years a more sophisticated view of Pearse has been developed in academic works but in popular perception he is still seen as a proponent of doubtful ideas, while allusions to autism and homosexuality have also hit the headlines. To discuss these and related matters, join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, for a lively round table discussion with Joost Augusteijn, Roisín Higgins, John Gibney and Ruth Dudley Edwards.
Tommy Graham is a history graduate of Trinity College and a founder (1993) and editor of History Ireland, the country’s only illustrated history magazine. He currently lectures in Irish history and politics at Griffith College and formerly at Tisch NYU. A presenter of Newstalk’s ‘Talking History’, he’s also a regular contributor to the station’s Moncrieff show. At the 2010 Electric Picnic he kicked off his latest project, History Ireland Hedge Schools, an ongoing series of round table discussions of historical and contemporary interest.
Dr. Roisín Higgins is a Senior Lecturer in history at Teeside University. Her work focuses on social and cultural history with particular interest in the politics of historical memory. Her research on commemoration examines both the impact of landmark anniversaries and the capacity of acts of remembrance to transform the meaning of historical events. Her book, Transforming 1916: meaning, memory and the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising, won the 2012 ACIS James S. Donnelly Sr Prize for the best book in History and Social Science.
Dr. Joost Augusteijn studied history at the University of Amsterdam where he also obtained his PhD (1994) on the history of the Irish Republican Army. He subsequently worked as Lecturer in Modern Irish History at Trinity College, Dublin (1994-5) and Queen’s University, Belfast (1995-2000). Since 2000 he has been Assistant Professor in European History at Leiden University. He is the author of Patrick Pearse: the making of an Irish Revolutionary (2010).
Dr. Ruth Dudley Edwards was born and brought up in Dublin, and was educated at University College Dublin and Cambridge University. She is a historian, prize-winning biographer, journalist, and crime fiction writer. In the 1970s Ruth wrote her first book, An Atlas of Irish History, the third edition of which was published in 2005. Her biography of Pearse, Patrick Pearse: the triumph of failure, which won the National University of Ireland Prize for Historical Research in 1978, was reissued in 2006 with a new foreword. Since 1993 Ruth has written for almost every national newspaper in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom and appears frequently on radio and television in Ireland, the UK and on the BBC World Service.
Dr. John Gibney is from Dublin and got his doctorate in history from Trinity College Dublin. He has taught Irish history at Trinity College and UCD, and has been a research fellow at the University of Notre Dame, the Huntington Library in California and NUI Galway. He was a contributor to the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography and is a regular contributor to History Ireland magazine. He has written three books – Ireland and the Popish Plot (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), The shadow of a year: the 1641 rebellion in Irish history and memory (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), and 16 Lives: Seán Heuston (O’Brien Press, 2013).