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School report from Pádraic Pearse found in Co Kerry

The document written by Pádraic Pearse, and right, Mike O'Donnell holding the paper which his granduncle found in a second-hand book. Pictures from RTÉ
Brendan Hughes

A SCHOOL report written and signed by Easter Rising leader Pádraic Pearse has been discovered in Co Kerry.

The document is a 1915 report for a pupil at Scoil Éanna in south Dublin where Pearse was headmaster.

Written in Irish, the report contains Pearse's evaluation of the academic performance of a Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin.

Pearse said that Mícheál's ability had "gradually improved" and he was "very good" at Irish and drawing.

The single-page school report was found by artist Mike O'Donnell while searching through family papers at his home in Tralee.

"I was rummaging in a cupboard and I found an envelope which contained a letter written by my granduncle in Toronto to my father here in Tralee back in 1982," he told RTÉ.

"In the letter my granduncle says he is enclosing an historically important document as a gift.

"My granduncle states that he came upon Pearse's school report by chance when it fell out of a second-hand book he had purchased in Oxford way back in 1953."

Pearse was executed for his involvement in the 1916 rebellion in Dublin against British rule.

Brian Crowley, curator of the Pearse Museum at Scoil Éanna, said the school report was an important discovery.

"While Pearse's signature and handwriting has survived in numerous documents, to find a document penned by such an important and prominent figure in Irish history is always a significant one," he said.

Mr Crowley believes the pupil in the report is the same boy as the Scoil Éanna pupil Michael O'Sullivan who had a lead role in a play staged by Pearse at The Irish Theatre in Hardwicke Street in 1915.

Scoil Éanna, or St Enda's School, was a school for boys established by Pearse in 1908.

Pearse moved the school in 1910 from Cullenswood house in Ranelagh to The Hermitage in Rathfarnham.

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