I am a few days late with this post, but still wanted to note the 100th anniversary of the Ulster Covenant.
On September 28, 1912, nearly 500,000 men and women signed separate documents to protest legislative attempts, called “Home Rule,” to secure more domestic autonomy in Ireland. The pledge to “use all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present” conspiracy was soon backed by the creation of a loyalist militia called the Ulster Volunteer Force.
Here’s news coverage of the anniversary in the Belfast Telegraph.
The Ulster Covenant was one one of the first steps toward politically cleaving the northwest corner of Ireland from the rest of the island. Nine years later six counties were partitioned as “Northern Ireland.”
The Ulster Covenant centenary is the first of many important centennials that will be marked over the next decade. Other upcoming anniversaries include the August 1913 Dublin labor lockout; April 1916 Easter Rising, January 1919 start of the War of Independence; December 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty; and the 1922-23 Civil War.
Here’s a link to the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland with more information about the Ulster Covenant, including a search feature to check for ancestors who may have signed the document.
Here’s a Wikisource link to Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “Ulster, 1912.”
Finally, here’s an interesting take on the anniversary by Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole.