Swopping their hurly sticks for real guns…

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Mount Argus Monastery Dublin

Now I live near Mount Argus Monastery in Harold’s Cross so let me tell you what was happening there during Easter 1916.  Where to start – well, I could report that on Good Friday that year, there was an unusually high attendance at the afternoon ceremonies and a high proportion of young men wanting to go to Confession (!)  Patrick Pearse and his brother Willie were among the attendees, as was Eamonn Ceannt and Joseph Mary Plunkett. (Larkfield, the Plunkett family estate was just up the road).

Of course, the Pearse family was well acquainted with the monastery, they had converted to Catholicism there, they had produced fine stone sculptures for the interior of the church and they were regular visitors. In a witness statement by Fr Eugene Nevin CP, he reports that on one occasion, he asked Patrick when they were going to swop their hurly sticks for real guns, Patrick grinned and replied – ‘it might be sooner than you think’.

Not all the priests were in favour, of course, and the Rector was certainly opposed but Pearse, though a devout Christian, was not one to be cowed by the Church authorities.

Now, you might’ve read some of my previous posts on Scéalta Ealáine about my following Pearse’s footsteps in Ros Muc in the West of Ireland but isn’t it interesting that there are all these connections so close to home as well?  So now, my art project is really a two location project. I’ll be bringing it all back home during the Harold’s Cross Community Festival in May this year.  The 3rd of May was the date that Patrick Pearse, my great grand uncle, was executed for his part in the Easter Rising.

photo of Patrick and Willie Pearse

Here’s a photo that my grandfather Alfred McGloughlin took. It was hanging in our family home for years. It’s a photo of his uncles. Interestingly, it’s the only one around where Patrick is (sort of) smiling…

There’s a new section in the St. Charles museum at Mount Argus about the connections with 1916 and there’s a long and interesting witness statement by Fr Eugene Nevin CP in the bureau of military history.  Here’s a link below.










  1. Fascinating bit of history; I don’t recall having seen that photo before. I know that Pearse preferred his photo to be taken in profile, as it was here; but that look about him speaks volumes. (I’m beginning to see the family resemblance!)


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