New plaque planned to commemorate Pearse visit
The Millstreet Monument Committee plan to erect a plaque at "The Railway Hotel", now Corkery's Bar, to commemorate the visit of Padraig Pearse 100 years ago.
Pearse became the Irish Volunteers' Director of Military Organisation in 1914 and by 1915 he was on the IRB's Supreme Council that began planning for the rising. In that role he visited Millstreet on 22 August 1915 to meet local IRB members and volunteers. The A Unit of the Irish Volunteers had been formed locally in 1914 after the disintegration of the National Volunteers. It was so painstakingly organised that it was considered by the Volunteer Executive in Dublin to be a suitable nucleus for organising the Duhallow and Muskerry districts.
Accordingly, they sent Padraig Pearse to Millstreet to address a meeting of the public and a convention of Volunteers. Pearse's visit on August 22 coincided with the local feis and sports.
The visit took place only a fortnight after his famous oration at the grave of O'Donovan Rossa and it attracted a lot of attention, not least from the R.I.C.
However, Pearse slipped through them and made his way to the football field. There he addressed several thousand people who had assembled to enjoy a real Gaelic day and to listen to the gospel of Irish patriotism.
Following a conference with Pearse, local organisers set to work to expand the organisation of the Volunteers. When the R.I.C. realised that Pearse had evaded them their chagrin was of a high order. However, they had the 'privilege' of standing guard outside the Railway Hotel whilst Pearse had an evening meal inside.
It is a significant fact that all those known to be associated with his visit were either interned or had to go on the run the following year.