Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 22 Mar 1966

Vol. 221 No. 12

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Future of St. Enda's.


Mr. O'Leary

asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the statement of Senator Margaret Pearse in which she expressed her intentions regarding the future of the Hermitage; if it has been his Department's understanding that the Hermitage would be left to the State as indicated by the late Mrs. Henry Pearse; and whether he has held any discussions with the present owner on the matter.


Mr. O'Leary

asked the Minister for Finance whether any repairs have been carried out on the Hermitage since the death of Mrs. Henry Pearse; if he will indicate the cost and nature of these repairs; whether the roof has been repaired recently; and the costs of such roof repairs.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 22 together.

I have seen a newspaper report of the statement referred to.

In her will, Mrs. Margaret Pearse, who died in 1932, left the Hermitage, or St. Enda's, to her daughter Margaret for life and thereafter to the Nation, to be kept as a memorial to her sons Patrick and William Pearse. The Executive Council decided in 1936 that the gift should be accepted. It transpired, however, that the bequest to the State was not legally valid because of the death of the testatrix within three months after the date of the will and that the property fell to Senator Margaret Pearse, absolutely. I am advised that she being concerned to fulfil her dead mother's wishes made a will confirming the original bequest.

To date I have not had any discussion with Senator Miss Pearse about the reported change of intention in regard to the disposition of the property.

Works costing a total of approximately £7,800 have been carried out at the property by the Office of Public Works. These included repairs to roofs, boundary walls and avenues, the removal of dangerous trees, the reconstruction of a conservatory, and the provision of a limited system of electric heating to preserve the fabric of the house.

Repairs to the roof were carried out in February, 1966, at Miss Pearse's request. The cost was £45 10s. Od.

Mr. O'Leary

Has any curiosity been aroused in the Parliamentary Secretary's Office as to the statement, which was pretty emphatic, about her decision not to leave it to the State, or will they wait until she dies to find out what the position is?

My Office have had no intimation of a change in Miss Pearse's intention.