If you had come to stay on this site back in 1916, you would have found yourself on ‘Great Brunswick Street’. Pearse Street is one of a great many streets, in cities and towns across Ireland, whose names were changed following independence. Many of the streets had been named in celebration of British victories – Amiens Street, for example. Others were named after individuals honoured by the Crown, such as O’Connell Street, which until 1924 was called as Sackville Street, after Lionel Cranfield Sackville, a former Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
Brunswick Street was renamed ‘Pearse Street’ in honour of Patrick Pearce who was born at No. 27, above his father’s Stone Mason’s business. Though his father was actually English, Patrick Pearse, along with his brother Willie, was passionate about Irish Culture, the Irish
language and the cause of Irish Freedom.
In 1908 he started a School, St. Enda’s, in the suburb of Ranelagh, later moving it to a large house in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains in Rathfarnham. By 1913 Pearse was ready to commit himself to the struggle for independence, joining the secretive IRB, or Irish Republic Brotherhood. He was at the forefront of the Easter Rising in 1916. It was he that read the ‘Proclamation of The Irish Republic’ outside The General Post Office, a document he was largely responsible for drafting. Pearse had also been chosen as president of the new Republic but it was not to be. After six days of fighting he gave the order to surrender and was, along with 13 others, taken for execution to Kilmainham Gaol.