Daniel Sammon – Padraig H Pearse – Barrister & poet

Daniel Sammon lives in Renvyle Co Galway. To date, he is the author of six books including a book of poetry.
He’s a graduate of NUIG where he received a Master’s degree in Writing in 2017. Prior to that, he received Certificates of Distinction in Legal Studies, Self-Employed Accountancy & Taxation, and Creative Writing in the Open College and Kilroy’s College in Dublin. He walked across Ireland from Renvyle to the GPO in Dublin in 2009 to celebrate the defeat of the British Army and the Black & Tans by the IRA in the War of Independence and the eventual Freedom of Ireland or at least the 26 counties.
To find out what it may have been like for St Patrick in 441 AD, he slept overnight on his own under the stars on the summit of Croagh Patrick in 2015 and wrote a book about his experiences.
Today he is a tour driver taking passengers on history, heritage, and scenic tours mainly in Connemara as well as other parts of Ireland wherever people may wish to go.

Padraig H Pearse – Barrister & poet

By Daniel Sammon

Patrick Pearse is better known as one of the Leaders of the 1916 Rising and also for being the first of the Leaders to be executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Jail on Wednesday 3rd May 1916. Before his days of writing poetry and military activity he made one of his few appearances as a barrister in 1905. He represented a poet and song-writer Niall McBride (1861-1942) from Feymore, Creeslough in Co Donegal for a ‘so-called criminal offence’. McBride was brought to court and defended himself, but lost and was fined one shilling or alternatively seven days in Derry Gaol for having his name displayed ‘illegibly’ on his donkey cart on his way home from the creamery. His name was written in Irish – Niall MacGiolla Bridie, his everyday language – but not the official language at that time under British rule.  Rather than pay the fine he appealed it to a higher court. The Appeal was heard in the Court of King’s Bench in Dublin with Patrick Pearse representing the Appellant on a pro bono basis. He lost the case and was fined an additional shilling but still refused to pay. In the eyes of his barrister this became a symbol of the struggle for Irish Independence and the right to use the Irish Language on one’s donkey and cart as well as other places. Afterwards barrister Patrick H Pearse stated: ‘in effect that meant under British Rule that Irish is a foreign language in Ireland, on the same level as Yiddish’. One of the name plates from McBride’s ass-cart, on loan from National Museum in Dublin, is on permanent display at Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny. The other one is in a private collection. Among the many songs Niall McBride is credited with writing are The Hills of Donegal and Noreen Bawn.




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