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"Bomber priest not a surprise" - the Pearse mosaic controversy

Patrick Pearse was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916. The rebellion failed and Pearse was executed by the British. Many Irish regard Pearse as a hero.


From the Irish Independent Letters Page

Saturday 28 August 2010

"IT is no surprise to me that police intelligence has identified a priest, Fr James Chesney, as director of the local IRA planting bombs in Claudy, Co Derry, in 1972.

In Galway Cathedral there is a mosaic of Pearse next to Jesus Christ, so Pearse is a role model to be followed by a Christian with republican leanings. Pearse said such things as, "Irish hate of the English is a holy passion".

Pearse said, in praising O'Donovan Rossa, "for the English he had a hatred that was tinctured with contempt. He looked on them as an inferior race".

In December 1915, Pearse wrote: "Heroism has come back to the world ... it is good for the world that such things should be done. The old heart of the Earth needed to be warmed with the red wine of the battlefields. Such august homage was never before offered to God as this, the homage of millions of lives given gladly for love of country."

When people put the love of country above the love of God and replace the Ten Commandments with oaths that require blind obedience, the worst atrocities are committed.

I think no Christian can be a Christian if he hates his neighbours and plants bombs in streets to kill innocents.

Irish nationalism is a malignant mutation of race and religion and Pearse's mosaic next to the mosaic of Jesus in Galway Cathedral is a visible expression of this."

Stephen Fallon

(The photo is from


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