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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Belfast City Hall debate to focus on Volunteer armies

The debate will take place in the
Banqueting Room of Belfast City Hall
Ireland’s two ‘volunteer’ armies from a century ago will be the focus of a debate in Belfast City Hall on Tuesday 10 December.

HistoryIreland magazine and The Irish Association have joined forces to convene a special Hedge School which will tackle the subject of ‘Volunteers 1913: Two Traditions Or One?’. It will look at how, a century ago, the imminent prospect of Home Rule provoked the founding of two private armies in Ireland: the Ulster Volunteers to oppose it and the Irish Volunteers to defend it.

The HistoryIreland Hedge School, which is taking place in the Banqueting Room of the City Hall from 6pm, aims to stimulate debate on what the volunteers hoped to achieve and what it must have been like ‘to sign up’ to such armies a century ago. It will discuss the similarities and differences between these private armies.

A panel of guests will lead the discussions. It includes Lar Joye from the National Museum of Ireland, Michael Laffan (University College Dublin), Timothy Bowman (University of Kent) and Philip Orr (author of ‘New Perspectives - Politics, Religion and Conflict in Mid-Antrim, 1911-1914’). Tommy Graham, Editor of HistoryIreland, will be the master of ceremonies.

The event – part of Belfast City Council's ongoing Decade Of Centenaries programme – is free of charge but advance booking is required by email or telephone: + 353 1 293 3568.