Thursday, 21 November 2013

Ireland's volunteer armies, 1913 - two traditions or one?

News of a forthcoming hedge school debate to be held in Belfast:

History Ireland and the Irish Association cordially invite you to a Hedge School @ Belfast City Hall

VOLUNTEERS 1913: two traditions or one?

A century ago the imminence of Home Rule provoked the founding of two private armies in Ireland: the Ulster Volunteers (January) to oppose it and the Irish Volunteers (November) to defend it. Both went on to become part of their respective communities’ subsequent ‘narratives’: the UVF in the 36th (Ulster Division) at the Battle of the Somme and after 1920 in the Ulster Special Constabulary; and the Irish Volunteers in the 1916 Easter Rising and the War of Independence that followed. The resultant complexities will be the topic of this Hedge School.

Location: @ Belfast City Hall
Date and time: 6pm, Tuesday 10 Dec 2013
RSVP: bookings @ or Tel: 00 353 1 2933568

The event is free but booking essential to secure a place. To book please email: bookings @

Light refreshments, before the event, from 5.30pm at Belfast City Hall for all attending the Hedge School. A guided tour of Belfast City Hall will be available at 3.30pm.

Hedge School ‘master’ Tommy Graham (History Ireland editor) with—Lar Joye (National Museum of Ireland), Michael Laffan (UCD), Timothy Bowman (University of Kent) and Philip Orr (New Perspectives—Politics, Religion and Conflict in Mid-Antrim, 1911–1914).

If you have additional requirements please contact us in advance, either by email, bookings @, or phone Helen at the History Ireland office, 00 353 1 2933568.

Supported by the Reconciliation Fund, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and
Belfast City Council Good Relations Programme

(With thanks to Gavin McMahon at PRONI)


My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from (print) and (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see

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