Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa (10 September 1831 – 29 June 1915) was an Irish Fenian leader and prominent member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. His life as an Irish Fenian is well documented but he is perhaps known best in death for the graveside oration given at his funeral by Pádraig Pearse. Rossa was seriously ill in his later years, and was finally confined to a hospital bed in St. Vincent's Hospital, Staten Island, where he died at the age of 83. The new republican movement in Ireland was quick to realize the propaganda value of the old Fenian's death, and Tom Clarke cabled to John Devoy the message: "Send his body home at once". His body was returned to Ireland for burial and a hero's welcome. The funeral at Glasnevin Cemetery on 1 August 1915 was a huge affair, garnering substantial publicity for the Irish Volunteers and the IRB at time when a rebellion (later to emerge as the Easter Rising) was being actively planned. The graveside oration, given by Pádraig Pearse, remains one of the most famous speeches of the Irish independence movement stirring his audience to a call to arms. It ended with the lines: "They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but, the fools, the fools, the fools! — They have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace."
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