Centenaries lectures continue

BANBRIDGE District Council’s successful series of public lectures marking a decade of important historical anniversaries continues on Thursday 11October at the Old Town Hall, Banbridge from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Co-delivered by eminent historian, Dr. Eamon Phoenix and PhD research student Andrew Charles, the evening will feature a lecture entitled ‘Carson, Craig and the Home Rule Crisis’.

In this second lecture Dr Phoenix will explore Home Rule and Andrew Charles will discuss the Ulster Covenant.

Between 1801 and 1922 Ireland formed a constituent part of the United Kingdom. At various intervals during this time, attempts were made to destabilise Anglo-Irish relations with rebellions launched in 1803, 1848, 1867, and 1916 to try and end British rule over Ireland.

In the 1830s and 40s, Daniel O’Connell campaigned to repeal the Act of Union and from the 1870s onwards Irish Nationalists, under the leadership of Isaac Butt, fought for Home Rule. It was not until 1886 that the first attempt to legislate Home Rule was made. The first two Home Rule Bills, in 1886 and 1893, were rejected by Parliament, following concerted pressure from Unionists in Great Britain and Ireland.

The Ulster Covenant was part of this response by Ulster Unionists. On and before 28 September 1912 almost half a million Ulster men and women signed the Covenant and Declaration in opposition to the Third Home Rule Bill calling for devolved government from Dublin. These documents were precursors to the partition of Ireland and subsequent formation of Northern Ireland less than a decade later.

Dr Éamon Phoenix is Principal Lecturer in History and Head of Lifelong Learning at Stranmillis University College, Queen’s University, Belfast A political historian, his books include Northern Nationalism: Nationalist Politics, Partition and the Catholic Minority in Northern Ireland. He is co-editor of the recent Conflicts in the North of lreland 1900-2000. A regular broadcaster, Dr Phoenix is a member of the Irish Government’s Advisory Committee on Centenaries.

Andrew Charles B.A. Hons; MRes, a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, is a PhD Research Student looking at the processes involved in building better community relations in both Northern Ireland and Cyprus after a period of violence and political upheaval. He is a former President of the Ulster Society at Queen’s and wrote his Master’s Dissertation on the inception and development of Unionism in the 19th Century.

The lecture will be followed by an interval with light refreshments and the evening will conclude with a question and answer session.

Places for this free event are very limited so advance booking is essential. Contact Banbridge District Council’s Temporary Good Relations Co-ordinator, T: 4066 0605 or email sarah.mcneill@banbridge.gov.uk