1900-1923 Home Rule to Partition

1900-1923 Home Rule to Partition

More ships have been destroyed on Tuskar Rock than on any other Irish coastal feature. This low and featureless outcrop lies 7 miles off the Wexford coast, waiting to ensnare unsuspecting ships. It took three years and 14 lives to build its lighthouse in the early 1800s. It was at this forbidding place that the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) organised the rendezvous between the SS Fanny, carrying 216 tons of guns and ammunition, and the SS Clyde Valley, soon to be renamed the Mountjoy II, in the audacious Larne gun-running of 1914. The Clyde Valley took on its cargo of contraband weapons and sailed to Larne amid an Ulster-wide UVF mobilisation that preoccupied the authorities. UVF volunteers from all over the province lined the roads to Larne harbour in cars and lorries, ready to secret the weapons in anticipation of the passing of the Home Rule Bill. 

The Home Rule movement was the dominant force in Irish nationalist politics from the 1870s. Charles Stewart Parnell’s Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) had supplanted the Liberal, Conservative, and Unionist parties that had once dominated the Irish political scene. Liberal governments in Westminster had attempted to pass two Home Rule Bills by 1912, only to be defeated in the House of Lords. The Liberals formed a new government in 1910 with the support of the IPP, on the condition that a fresh Home Rule Bill be introduced. Unionists were alarmed, and were prepared to resist with violence if the need arose. The UVF, formerly unarmed, hatched the Larne gun-running to arm their ranks.

The National Museums NI Home Rule to Partition collection highlights this crisis with examples of propaganda from both the Home Rule and Unionist campaigns, and artefacts and weapons from the Mountjoy II.

The First World War prevented the Home Rule Act 1914 being implemented, and the Easter Rising complicated an already difficult political situation. The collection includes a wide array of First War artefacts, including personal belongings and medals from both sides. We hold a fascinating collection of pieces from Ireland in this period too, illustrating the rapid constitutional and social changes that were occurring. There are items from the Easter Rising and the partition of Ireland, and pieces that demonstrate the rising role of the women’s movement, and labour organisations.

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When the thaw set in on the Somme our artillery ploughed thro' mud and slush to Gemmacourt

When the thaw set in on the Somme our artillery ploughed thro' mud and slush to Gemmacourt

Stereoscope Photograph showing a view of line of British artillery marching through mud. ‘When the thaw set in on the Somme our artillery ploughed thr...

UVF South Belfast Regiment

UVF South Belfast Regiment

Photographic postcard showing 'UVF South Belfast Regiment enroute for Balmoral, 27th September 1913.'...

Donegall Place Belfast Under Home Rule

Donegall Place Belfast Under Home Rule

Anti-Home Rule postcard featuring Donegall Place, Belfast, Under Home Rule - City Hall in ruins, Robinson and Cleaver's is To Let, and statues of Dil...

Royal Irish Fusiliers

Royal Irish Fusiliers

These are the khaki trousers beloning to the number two battle dress uniform of the Royal Irish Fusiliers....

Lantern slide

Lantern slide

Sir Edward Carson reviewing Ulster Volunteers at review of Belfast Division UVF in Royal Ulster Agricultural Showgrounds....

Postcard

Postcard

A Reg Carter postcard depicting an unidentified scene from British politics. Carter was a famous cartoonist and illustrator for the early Beano comics...

Fountain Pen

Fountain Pen

Black pen with traces of dried blood on the nib. This pen was used to sign the Ulster Covenant in the blood of its owner. It belonged to Major Fred Cr...

SAFETY MATCH CONTAINER

SAFETY MATCH CONTAINER

Leather Safety Match Container. Two piece container which has rough striking strip of metal on bottom. The slide on top has two cut away portions to f...

Mountjoy

Mountjoy

Bronze bell, re-named to `Mountjoy' from the 'Londoner Glasgow.' On 24 April, the SS Clyde Valley was renamed the "Mountjoy", with the use of 6-foot-l...

Enlist To-day!

Enlist To-day!

First World War recruitment poster; 'Justify the faith of your fathers, and earn the gratitude of your children. Enlist To-day!'; published by the Par...

Ration card, Ministry of Food

Ration card, Ministry of Food

event : World War I;condition : good. issuing authority : Ministry of Food. description : numbered M 263053 ; issued to John A. Holness of Belfast ; l...

'Every recruit joining the army has the option of becoming attached to Colonel Lynch's purely Irish Brigade'

'Every recruit joining the army has the option of becoming attached to Colonel Lynch's purely Irish Brigade'

First World War recruitment poster; ' Every recruit joining the army has the option of becoming attached to Colonel Lynch's purely Irish Brigade' This...

Is it a Capitalist War?

Is it a Capitalist War?

National War Aims Committee pamphlet 'Is it a Capitalist War?' by William Stephen Sanders. No. 19 in the Searchlight Series....

Seactmain na Casga - 1916

Seactmain na Casga - 1916

Bronze eight pointed star on which bears the dying Cuchulainn. Reverse, inscription and 1916 ribbon half green, half orange. This medal was struck for...

Sir Edward Carson K.G M.P.

Sir Edward Carson K.G M.P.

Lapel badge featuring image of Sir Edward Carson K.G M.P....

British Covenant

British Covenant

Buttonhole badge. A blue enamel shield in silver BRITISH COVENANT 1914. The Ulster Covenant had been signed by numerous people in England, Scotland an...

Piece of Mansion House Flag

Piece of Mansion House Flag

Piece of Mansion House Flag, Dublin, pulled down in a riot during the Second Boer War, 1900. The riot occurred on March 1st 1900 outside the Mansion ...

The Ulster Men (1605-1913)

The Ulster Men (1605-1913)

Postcard featuring 'The Ulster Men (1605-1913).' "The seams of the Empire start open and crack." Verses by William Moore, June 1913. With red border. ...

Cautiously working their way across the shell-swept plain of Picardy in great Somme push

Cautiously working their way across the shell-swept plain of Picardy in great Somme push

Stereoscope Photograph showing a view of soldiers elbowing their way acrss ground with shells bursting in front of them. ‘Cautiously working their way...

Third Officer 'Titanic'

Third Officer 'Titanic'

British Titanic Enquiry memo dated 27th June 1912 addressed to Third Officer Herbert J. Pitman, Somerset: "As I have instructions to discharge the off...

Mountjoy

Mountjoy

Canvas nameplates; "Mountjoy" printed at sea on the "Clyde Valley" by Major.F.Crawford. The Clyde Valley temporarily changed its name to the 'Mountjoy...

'To the women of Britain. Won't you help and send a man to join the army to-day?'

'To the women of Britain. Won't you help and send a man to join the army to-day?'

First World War recruitment poster; 'To the women of Britain. Won't you help and send a man to join the army to-day?'; published by the Parliamentary ...

Political Broadside Pamphlet

Political Broadside Pamphlet

Political Broadside Pamphlet. 2 sheets folded, printed both sides : staple : cover page title only. Inscription : THE ULSTER MOVEMENT: ITS HISTORY AND...

Photographic negative

Photographic negative

Photographic negative: Trade Unions. Belfast Strike, traction engine with goods guarded by police, 1907....

Stand not upon the order of your going but go at once

Stand not upon the order of your going but go at once

First World War recruitment poster; 'Stand not upon the order of your going but go at once. Enlist now'; Published by the Parliamentary Recruiting Com...

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