One connection that executed 1916 leader Patrick Pearse had with Castlebar was that his father’s firm; James Pearse & Sons Ltd, 27 Great Brunswick Street built the High Altar, the altar rails and Our Lady’s Statue for the Church of the Holy Rosary which opened in October 1901. The total cost was £650. The blocks of marble were transported from Dublin by train where they were lifted onto horse carts and brought to the Church.
Patrick’s brother Willie who also a sculptor and later a teacher in St. Enda’s school founded by his brother, was also executed for his part in the Rising. The family firm ran adverts in the Connaught Telegraph from 1892 weekly until about 1901 stating that they made altars, statues and pulpits at very reasonable prices. When the local Council changed the street names in 1920, Spencer Street became Pearse Street in memory of the two brothers but eventually the old names came back into use. St. Michael’s Church in Foxford and St. Muiredach’s Cathedral in Ballina also had their altars made by the Pearse family.
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