School Resource Packs: Cork 1912-1918


1913 U156/1 Irish Volunteers (Langford Document)

The City Hall, 14 th December, 1914 This is the date and Venue of the historic meeting to inaugurate / Oglaigh na h-Eireann – the Irish Volunteers. The official notepaper of / the time held the caption Fianna Fail Oglaig na h-Eireann a rough / translation in English being ‘The Volunteer Army of Ireland’. // The Preliminary Committee comprised Tomas MacCurtain, Liam de Roiste, / JJ Walsh, Donal MacIonnrachtaigh, a Senior medical student, who had / been in correspondence with Roger Casement; and Diarmuid Fawsitt and the late / Maurice O’Connor solicitor issued the invitation cards. It was decided that JJ Walsh should chair the meeting; that Diarmuid / Fawsitt would read a manifesto issued by the Dublin Provisional Committee; / that Liam de Roiste would propose a vote of thanks to the guest speakers, / Roger Casement and Eoin MacNeill. The cards of invitation were issued in / bulk for distribution to known separatists, Gaelic League local branch sec- / retaries, to GAA adherents; to Gaels who could be depended on to dis- / tribute them wisely and well. // To emphasise the non-party category of the meeting, Eamonn O’Neill, / a brilliant Kinsale Gaelic speaker and associated with the O’Brienite party, / and John J Horgan, solicitor, a well-known supporter of the Redmondite Party, / were invited to speak. As matters developed, neither did speak. // The only public advertisement was one from the American Alliance / AOH calling on its members to attend. Tomas MacCurtain with many other / prominent Gaelic Leaguers were members of this avowedly separatist group. // The AOH (Bord of Erin) the back-bone of the Redmondite Party were / alouf, and were expected to be non-acquiescent if not openly antagonistic. // On the platform also were Sean O h-Eigeartaigh ad some members of / Fianna na h-Eireann of whose opinions no one had any doubt. // Mr JJ Walsh of the GAA opened the meeting, and was most care- / ful not to introduce anything contentious, and was followed by Diarmuid / Fawsitt. Fawsitt was a talented speaker, and his reading of the Dublin / Manifesto was received with acclamation.// Then the VIP Professor Eoin MacNeill came forward and spoke: first / in Gaelic, and carried on in English. Domhnal Og and I were towards the ? back of the Hall when we noticed (towards the close of MacNeill’s oration) / a fairly large compact group led by Mr John Horgan of Adelaide Street / a plumber in a derby hat, who began forcing their way towards the middle of ? the Hall. We immediately recognised them as members of the AOH (Molly / Maguires), and concluded they were out to make trouble. Apparently / they had gained an entrance with bogus tickets. // According to the ‘Cork Examiner’ of Dec 15 th , Eoin MacNeill would up his remarks with, I quote: / ‘They (the Ulster Volunteers) have broken the ice for our ship to / pass through. It is they who have opened the way for us. It is they / who have set the model and the standard of public duty for us. We / stand in no fear of them. They stand in no fear of us. There is / no reason why either should fear the other’. Quote ends. //


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