President Michael D Higgins and a host of invited guests were present on Thursday for the official launch of a new exhibition on the life of Patrick Pearse at The Hermitage in Rathfarnham where he lived and ran his Irish-speaking school, Scoil Éanna from 1910-16.
The school was highly innovative and as well as teaching Irish Pearse and his colleagues reenacted ancient stories, plays and texts as they sought to revive Irelands mythic past and heritage in order to pass it on to future generations.
In keeping with the spirit of Scoil Eanna, Tallaght Community Arts provided the highlight of yesterdays event with an awe inspiring open air performance in the walled garden of The Hermitage.
Titled “Aeridheacht-Taking The Air,” from the title Pearse gave St Enda’s Annual Open Day, the idea behind the piece was to reimagine Open Day 1914 and the mythical pageant “Fionn- A Dramatic Spectacle.”
The performance was very well received by all in attendance and was the culmination of a project that began in 2014 when Tallaght Community Arts proposed to use the 2016 Centenary of The Rising to explore the ground breaking educational experiment undertaken by Padraig Pearse at the school.
Between March and May 2015 a core cast was recruited and in June 2015 a 5 day summer camp was run at the Pearse Museum with forty young people exploring how the school worked and what role open days and pageants played in the life of the pupils.
The performance was developed by Creative Director Tony Fegan, Project Manager Jennifer Webster, Production Manager Andrew Siddall and Musical Director Rudi Genbrugge as well as a team of artists who worked with the core cast during summer holidays and weekends throughout early 2016.
As he launched the newly developed Patrick Pearse exhibition, President Higgins said the performance from Tallaght Community Arts gave hope for the future.
“We and future citizens will have a permanent reminder of what Patrick Pearse and his family have contributed to Irelands cause, from which generations can take inspiration.
“In the performances, we can remember our traditions, and be certain that the Irish language, music and culture remain safe in the hands of the next generation.”
Aeridheacht runs every night until Sunday at Pearse Museum. Tonight’s performance is sold out but tickets are still available for Saturday and Sunday’s performances.