Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Upcoming Lecture by Dr Pat McCarthy 28 January 2022 :The experience of Waterford loyalists in the revolutionary decade 1912-1923.



The next lecture in our 2021 – 2022 programme at the earlier time of 6 pm on Friday January 28th when historian Dr Pat McCarthy will deliver a talk titled ‘The experience of Waterford loyalists in the revolutionary decade 1912-1923’.


“I had been brought up under the union jack and had no desire to live under any other emblem.” 

The words of C.P. Crane, a Tipperary Resident Magistrate, in 1923, would have found an echo in the hearts of many of Waterford’s loyalist community. By 1926 their population had declined by 40% compared to 1911 and those who survived now lived in a different environment. In 1912 the small but influential loyalist community in Waterford had been vocal in their opposition to Home Rule. Led by Sir William Goff-Davis Goff and Dr Henry Stuart O’Hara, Church of Ireland bishop of the united dioceses of Waterford, Lismore, Cashel and Emly, they had publicly protested against the Home Rule Bill. On October 2 that year Dr O’Hara had led a prayer service in Christchurch which concluded with a signing of the Ulster Covenant by some of his flock – possibly a unique event in Munster. By 1914 they were very much aware that Home Rule for at least three provinces was inevitable and that in the event of a civil war they were extremely vulnerable. Those who attended an anti-Home Rule event had their names noted by a local newspaper which led to sharp exchanges in the House of Commons between the Conservative leader, Andrew Bonar-Law and John Redmond, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party and MP for Waterford. The outbreak of WW1 changed that, at least temporarily, and they responded enthusiastically to the call to arms. They paid a high price for their loyalty to King and Empire. After the war, they again found themselves vulnerable, especially between the Truce (July 1921) and the end of the Civil War (May 1923), a period in which they were subject to opportunistic violence, a republican campaign of ‘Big House’ burnings and social disorder. In this lecture distinguished historian Pat McCarthy will look at the experiences of Waterford’s loyalist community during the revolutionary decade.

Friday 28th January 2022

6 PM

St Patrick's Gateway Centre

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