Centennial of Irish Volunteers noted

November is the centennial of the founding of the Irish Volunteers.

“The Volunteers were formed against a background of rising militancy in Ireland,” the Defense Forces Ireland website says. “The spur for this was the Irish Home Rule Bill of 1912 to which the Unionists were vehemently opposed.”

The Irish Academic Press has issued a refreshed edition of the 50th anniversary classic, The Irish Volunteers 1913-1915: Recollections and Documents. The publisher says the book includes “a rich compendium of original letters, reports, speeches, newspaper editorials, military and administrative instructions and members subscription lists that together create a unique historical record of the Irish Volunteer movement.”

An Post also has issued a commemorative stamp, seen below.


The Irish postal service picks up the rest of the Volunteers’ history:

“The organisation split into two in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I. The majority formed the National Volunteers who favoured enlisting to fight in the First World War in the hope of being rewarded with Home Rule. The remaining Irish Volunteers, led by Eoin MacNeill stayed in Ireland. The Irish Volunteers were forced underground after their active part in the 1916 Rising. In the War of Independence which began in 1919, the Irish Volunteers became known as the Irish Republican Army.”