Silver; Edge marking: eire amac na casca 1916
31 mm (1-3/16”), 32 grams
HISTORY: This coin was minted for this one year only, so it did not receive much circulation. It was issued in remembrance of Irish history’s Easter Uprising, which took place in April 1916, lead by Patrick Pearse (1879–1916), a schoolteacher and barrister, and his band of 15 fellow Irish Republican loyalists. They stood against harsh British rule and, at the height of an intense and bloody battle on the streets of Dublin, counted 1,600 armed fighters against 20,000+ British troops. After surrendering to the British, Pearse was one week later executed by firing squad.
OBVERSE: Portrait of Patrick Pearse based on a photograph. Signed “HP.”
REVERSE: The statue image is of Irish legend Cacuculain, created by Irish sculptor Oliver Sheppard (1865–1941) in 1911. Sheppard was in the minority of Irish Protestants who supported independence from the British. One of his admiring students, William Pearse (1881–1916), introduced him to his brother Patrick. They struck up a short-lived friendship. The statue visualizes a battle-weary Cacuculain, who tied himself to a pillar so he could die fighting on his feet.