From The Gaelic American, March 7, 1914.
For the first time I appeal to the Irish-American public in the interests of the momentous work for Irish education that has been undertaken at St. Enda’s College.
St. Enda’s was founded by me in 1908 with the object of providing for Irish boys a secondary education which, while modern in the best sense, should be wholly Irish in complexion and bilingual in method. The attempt has been a notable success. Housed in an historic mansion which, set in a beautiful wooded demesne on a slope of the Dublin hills, has associations with Emmet and Curran and was the birthplace of William Elliott Hudson, we are educating some seventy boys on lines frankly Irish. We have made all our pupils Irish speakers. In the academic arena we more than hold our own. In athletics we lead Ireland. Many prominent Irishmen have sent us their sons to be educated. We have pupils from almost every county in Ireland, and the children of exiles have come to us from places as distant as Seattle and Buenos Aires.
Apart from its Irish standpoint, our College is distinguished from other secondary schools and colleges in Ireland by the appeal which its ideals make to the imagination of its pupils, by its objection to the “cramming” system, its viva voce teaching of modern languages, its broad literary programme, its courses in manual training, and, in short, its linking of the practical with the ideal at every stage of its work. We are convinced that we are training useful citizens for a free Ireland, and we believe further that we are kindling in our pupils something of the old spiritual and heroic enthusiasm of the Gael.
On the building, decoration, and equipment of our class rooms, laboratories, study hall, and gymnasium we have expended some £6,000. With the exception of about £1,000 subscribed by the Irish public, all this money has been provided by two or three persons. As the result of our labour and sacrifices St. Enda’s now stands fully equipped for the great work that lies before it. The College is, however, burdened by a debt of over £2,000, which I have undertaken to liquidate within the next twelve months. It is for help in this task that I appeal to Irish America.
I ask every Irishman and Irishwoman who reads this to send me a subscription, however small. One dollar from a poor man or woman will be as gratefully received as a thousand dollars from a rich man or woman. I further ask everyone who reads this to endeavour to interest, say, ten of his friends in our welfare. All sums received will be gratefully acknowledged, and the names of the donors will be inscribed in our roll of founders. Should more than the sum required for the liquidation of the debt be subscribed, the balance will be devoted, as far as it goes, to completing our College Chapel and to building a new dormitory which growing numbers will shortly make desirable.
I firmly believe that in appealing on behalf of St. Enda’s I am appealing on behalf of the most important thing in Ireland. Our work is radical; it strikes at the root of anglicisation. Infinitely the most vital duty of the hour here is to train the young in an Irish way for the service of Ireland. It is to this we have set our hands. The work of St. Enda’s, be it remembered, is not confined to its own seventy pupils but, through the influence it has already had on the spirit and curricula of the other schools and colleges, extends to every boy and girl in Ireland.
PADRAIC H. PEARSE.
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