A WALK ALONG OAKLEY ROAD IN RANELAGH
On Easter Monday 1916 four men left Oakley Road to fight in the Easter Rising. Pádraig Pearce and his brother Willie took up position in the GPO, Éamonn Ceannt in the South Dublin Union and Thomas MacDonagh in Jacob’s biscuit factory. A few weeks later they were shot by firing squad in Kilmainham.
Founded by Patrick Pearse and Thomas MacDonagh, the first site of St Enda’s (Scoil Éanna) was Cullenswood House on Oakley Road, Ranelagh, Dublin. The school opened on 8 September 1908. It was originally conceived as St Lorcan’s School but took the name of St Enda of Aran, who abandoned the heroic life of a warrior to teach a devoted band of scholars in the remote seclusion of the Aran Islands.
Pearse, generally known as a leader of the Easter Rising in 1916, had long been critical of the educational system in Ireland, which he believed taught Irish children to be good Englishmen. He had for years been committed to the preservation of the Irish language, mostly through the Gaelic League, and was dearly concerned about the language’s future. A trip abroad to Belgium and his observations of bi-lingual education there inspired him to attempt a similar experiment at home.