The Pearse Family Home

27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

Close by the River Liffey on Dublin’s south side, Ionad an Phiarsaigh–The Pearse Centre occupies the Pearse family home, birthplace of Padrick Pearse. It is centrally located opposite Trinity College on Pearse Street, near Pearse Street Garda Station, Doyles Pub on the corner, and College Green leading onto Dame Street, and is easily accessed by foot, by train or by bus.

The frontage of the restored building

Patrick Pearse was the first of four children born to Margaret and James Pearse at 27 Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street). Patrick was born there in 1879 in the backroom of the first floor of the house. Originally from England, James Pearse, an ecclesiastical and architectural sculptor, conducted his business from the basement, ground floor, and yard of 27 Pearse Street. During the Pearse family’s few years living there, some of the rooms in the three-storey-over-basement Georgian terraced brick house (dated circa 1820) were let to other tenants.

Such was the success of the business that the Pearse family did not remain living in Pearse Street for long, moving after five years to a modest house in Sandymount in 1884. With his business expanding, James Pearse had to lease other properties at the back of No. 27 to facilitate the volume of work being done. James executed some major sculptural works, and in 1882 he was awarded first prize at the Dublin Exhibition. By the time of his death in 1900, his firm was employing the largest staff of stone carvers, cutters, polishers and rubbers in Ireland.

On his death, Willie and Patrick Pearse took over the running of the business. Willie was nineteen and studying at the Metropolitan School of Art and was later to travel to London and Paris for further training. Patrick was at this stage using the title ‘Patrick H. Pearse, Sculptor’ and the company’s name had become ‘Pearse and Sons.’

The first floor rooms

In its first few years under their stewardship, the company continued to prosper and to win major orders. However, despite Patrick’s attention to the business, his workload for Conradh na Gaeilge, combined with Willie’s studies and a depression in the building trade, saw the business go into decline. By 1910 Pearse and Sons was no more, being worth only 500 on dissolution. Much of this went to fund the Pearse’s Irish language school, firstly in Cullenswood House and later in St. Enda’s, Rathfarnham, County Dublin.

After the Pearse’s vacated the premises, it became home to the South City Workingmen’s Temperance Club (1913-18); the Thompson Motor Car Co. Ltd. (1920-24); C.E. Jacobs Automobile Electrical Service Co Ltd. (1927-43); a cycle agents (1943-50); upholstery companies (1950s); and a courier firm more recently. In 1996, The Ireland Institute for Historical and Cultural Studies gained possession of the house and has since restored it for use as its headquarters.


The Pearse Centre / Ionaid an Phiarsaigh

The facilities of The Ireland Institute, including the Ionad an Phiarsaigh – The Pearse Centre can be rented for theatrical performances, rehearsals, exhibitions, conferences and meetings.

What We Have To Offer

Theatre Specifications

View the Theatre, Reception and Exhibition spaces

Booking and Contact



Read about the History of Number 27 Pearse Street


The 1916 Rising: Then and Now

A conference held at Trinity College, Dublin on 21 and 22 April 2006 organised by The Ireland Institute and Dublin University History Society

Opening of the Ireland Institute

Talks delivered at the opening of the restored Pearse Family Home as The Ireland Institute

Other papers

Transcripts of lectures and papers given at events organised by The Ireland Institute


The Citizen

A forum for analysis and debate of the issues facing Irish society today.

The Republic

A journal of contemporary and historical debate.

A photo of the frontage of the Pearse Centre