The Ulster Covenant 1912: an exercise in mass- democracy or reaction?


Wednesday, 28 November at 7.00pm
History Ireland Hedge School

The Ulster Covenant 1912: an exercise in mass- democracy or reaction?

On ‘Ulster Day’, 28 September 1912, 237,368 men signed the ‘Solemn League and Covenant’, 234,046 women signed a similar Declaration. 

‘Being convinced in our consciences that Home Rule would be disastrous to the material well-being of Ulster as well as the whole of Ireland, subversive of our civil and religious freedom, destructive of our citizenship, and perilous to the unity of the Empire, we, whose names are underwritten, men of Ulster, loyal subjects of His Gracious Majesty King George V, humbly relying on the God whom our fathers in days of stress and trial confidently trusted, do hereby pledge ourselves in solemn covenant throughout this our time of threatened calamity to stand by one another in defending for ourselves and our children our cherished position of equal citizenship in the United Kingdom, and in using all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in Ireland. And in the event such a Parliament being forced upon us we further solemnly and mutually pledge ourselves to refuse to recognise its authority. In sure confidence that God will defend the right we hereto subscribe our names. And further, we individually declare that we have not already signed this covenant.
God Save the King’

While this was an impressive exercise in mass mobilization it also set the unionists of Ulster against ‘the settled will’ of the majority of the Irish electorate. To discuss the implications join us at the History Ireland Hedge School.

The panel consists of

 Peter Collins (St Mary’s, Belfast), Tom Hartley (Sinn Féin), Brian Kennaway (Irish Association) and Philip Orr (New Perspectives: Politics, Religion and Conflict in Mid-Antrim)

Admission Free. All welcome. No booking required.

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