Tá diospóireacht suimiúil le tabhairt faoi ndeara i leathnach litreacha an Irish Times le déanai, plé agus argóínt atá ann faoi oidhreacht Phádraig Mhic PIarais. I litir amháin a léigh mé ar an abhar le deanaí bhí sé á chur i leith an Phiarsaigh gur bhain sé úsáid mí gheannasach ar pháistí agus go raibh an cruthú san i ndán a scrígh sé.
Táim go mór in amhras an raibh aon suim in aon chorr ag an bPiarsach i gcúrsaí craicinn d’aon tsort. Níl a fhios agam a mhalairt agus ní doigh liom gur féidir leat brath ar dhán mar fhianaise faoi mar atá an t-é a scrígh an litir seo….
Madam, – Your edition of September 25th reports that An Post launched two new stamps to mark the centenary of the opening of St Enda’s school for boys by Padraic Pearse in 1908. In 1909 Pearse published his poem “Little Lad of the Tricks”, in which he reveals himself to be a paederastic paedophile.
He wrote: “Child of the soft red mouth. . .Raise your comely head till I kiss your mouth. . .There is a fragrance in your kiss that I have not found in the kisses of women. . .Lad of the grey eyes, That flush in thy cheek/ Would be white with dread of me/ Could you read my secrets.”
In the light of what we now know about the horrors of child sexual abuse it is incredible that we continue to venerate this deeply disturbed and dangerous man as a national icon. – Yours, etc,
DICK KEANE, Silchester Park, Glenageary, Co Dublin.
Creidim go bhfuil siad ann ar mhaith leo bheith ag caitheamh gach aon sort salachair le leitheidí Mac Piarais ar mhaithe go gcomhlíonfaidh sé sprioc suarach eigean dá gcuid féin. Deir an litir suarach sin níos mó faoi mheon an scriobhnóra ná mar a deir sé faoin chlúmhilleadh atá déanta aige ar Mac Piarais.
Tá argóint réasúnta le déanamh, áfach, faoin tionchar a d’imir – nó nár imir – Scoil Naomh Éanna ar an gcóras oideachais. Dar leis an léachtóir oideachais seo, David Limond, ag Coláiste na Tríonóide, b’iad seo sainthréithe na scoile sin:
A militaristic, single-sex, ultra-conservative, de facto mono-lingual and de jure mono-denominational school could not be said to be progressive or pioneering in any reasonable sense of either word. Bertrand Russell once said of D.H. Lawrence that he had invented fascism before politicians ever thought of it and much the same can be said, with justice, of Pearse – as St Enda’s amply shows. – Yours, etc,
DAVID LIMOND, School of Education, Trinity College, Dublin 2.
Ba dhamnú, cheapfá, é sin ar scoil de reir slat tomhas na linne seo – ach fiú má bhí sí fíor go raibh Scoil Naomh Éanna aon teangach, aon chreidmheach, aon inscneach agus fíor chaomhach, níl a fhios agam an bhféadfaí a rá ná raibh an scoil ceann ródach de reir slat tomhais na linne ina raibh sé.
Tugann an scríobhnóir seo pictiúr níos iomláine ar an scoil:
Strangely, Pearse is never credited with founding one of the first “lay” schools in Ireland, the result of pragmatism and pioneering spirit. Commentators also ignore the fact that Pearse founded an all-girl’s school, St Ita’s, whose pupils regularly attended dances at St Enda’s.
Dr Limond is incorrect in ascribing monolingualism to St Enda’s: Pearse consistently encouraged bilingualism. Again, that St Enda’s was a ” de jure mono-denominational school” ignores the fact that schooling operated along these lines at the period. Brevity prohibits dealing with his assertion that St Enda’s was not “progressive or pioneering”. However, Pearse’s insistence upon a school council (officially unknown in Irish education policy until the 1990s), a school magazine run solely by students (often parodying staff) his insistence on bilingualism as a means of language acquisition, his inversion of the British school system to create a model of dissent at St Enda’s, his provision of a wide range of subjects, his refusal to prepare boys for the Intermediate Examination (the “Murder Machine”), his belief in the notion of learning by doing, his employment of the modern teaching aids available and his faith in the principle that children should be encouraged to develop on their own terms whatever physical or intellectual talents they possessed all point to St Enda’s as a progressive and pioneering school in early 20th-century Ireland.
To describe the operation of St Enda’s as “fascism” is to reveal a striking lack of familiarity with what Pearse actually wrote, said and did there. The accusation does not have its origins in fact; rather, in the tired excesses of commentators that began in the 1970s, possibly informed as much by the tragedy of Northern Ireland as by objective criticism.
Surely the time has come to move away from the casual assumption of Pearse as a republican ogre. Desmond Ryan, Pearse’s most successful student, joined the British army at the outbreak of the first World War, an act which Thomas MacDonagh, school vice-principal and participant in the Easter Rising, referred to as “consistent” with the spirit of patriotism he and Pearse tried to instil at St Enda’s – not to one nation, but to one’s nation. – Yours, etc,
Dr BRENDAN WALSH, School of Education Studies, Dublin City University, Dublin 9.
Tá go leor a bhí radacach agus ceann ródach faoi scoil Mhic Piarais – an rud a théann i bhfeidhm ormsa gur dhiultaigh Mac Piarais daltaí na scoile a ullmhú do scruduithe ar nós an Idirmheanach, nó an ‘Murder Machine’ mar a bhaist sé air.
Aisteach an rud é nár cuireadh deireadh leis an Idirmheanach inár scoileanna go dtí na 90aí – agus an uair sin féin ní raibh i gceist ach athrú ainme.
Dar liomsa ba cheart nach mbeadh i gceist le scoileanna ach ionad oideachais – seachas ionad scruduithe. Is léir nuair a fhéachann tú ar an ngeilleagar atá againn inniu agus an bponc ina bhfuil sí go bhfuil an iomarca béim ar thorthaí seachas ar phroiséas. Agus mar sin de nuair a thiteann an tóín as rud, ní bhionn a fhios againn conas dul i mbun an rud sin a dheisiú.
Tá an “Murder Machine” fós ag feidhmiú sa tír seo, rud a thugann le fios domsa go raibh scoil Mhic Piarais, Scoil Éanna, a bunaíodh céad bliain ó shin geall leis, i 1909, i bhfad chun tosaigh ar an slua.
B’é an t-alt seo, leirmheas ar leabhar faoi Scoil Naomh Éanna a spreag an diospóireacht atá go fóill ag leanúint…
Like the legacy of Pearse himself, the educational experiment of St Enda’s is complex, and it is fitting that some aspects – its emphasis on heroic self-sacrifice for example – are best remembered by the museum while its vibrancy, enthusiasm and child-centredness lives on in the Gaelscoil movement.
Agus mar sin a fhagadsa é go fóill. Níl aon amhras orm gurb iad na Gaelscoileanna comharbaí Mhic Piarais. Is mór an trua, áfach, nach feidir an oidhreacht iomlán, go h-áirithe feallsúnacht oideachais iomlán, gan scruduithe, an Phiarsach, a choinneáil beo sa lá atá inniu ann….