Thursday 15 March 2012

Looking forward to the Ulster Covenant centenary

You could be forgiven for thinking the only anniversary this year was the Titanic. But there's a much more interesting date coming up that will mark one hundred years since the signing of the Ulster Covenant.

It was the introduction of the Third Home Rule bill that triggered the drafting of the Ulster Covenant (follow this link to a brief overview from the BBC earlier this week). And on 28 September 1912, some 500,000 unionists pledged to use "all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule parliament in Dublin".

The documents were signed by 237,368 men and 234,046 women and their signatures have been digitised and can be searched at PRONI.

A series of events exploring various aspects of the Ulster Covenant will be held over the next few months in the ‘Shipyard Church’, Westbourne Presbyterian Community Church, 149a Newtownards Road, Belfast, where 3,371 actually signed the Covenant.

In addition to the informative illustrated talks from experts in their field, each evening will include music and/or poetry from the period. The events are free, they all start at 7.30pm, and tea and coffee will be available.

Thursday 22 March: An Introduction to the Ulster Covenant. ‘100 Years On’ Drama – Talk by Gordon Lucy.

Monday 30 April: Presbyterianism & the Ulster Covenant, with John Erskine & Nelson McCausland MLA.

Wednesday 23 May: Nationalism & the Ulster Covenant, with Dr Eamon Phoenix.

Thursday 21 June: Women & the Ulster Covenant, with Dr Diane Urquhart & Philip Orr.