The Irish Volunteers

The Irish Volunteers was a military organisation established in 1913 by Irish nationalists. It was ostensibly formed in response to the formation of the Ulster Volunteers in 1912, and its declared primary aim was “to secure and maintain the rights and liberties common to the whole people of Ireland”. The Volunteers included members of the Gaelic League, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Sinn Féin, and, secretly, the IRB. At the start of World War I, the majority joined the National Volunteers and enlisted in the British Army, leaving the Irish Volunteers with an estimated 10 to 14,000 members.  The Volunteers fought for Irish independence in the 1916 Easter Rising, and were joined by the Irish Citizen Army, Cumann na mBan and Fianna Éireann to form the Irish Republican Army.

This is an article by Colonel Maurice Moore on his work in recruiting Volunteers in the West of Ireland in 1914.  It is taken from a series of articles on “History of the Volunteers” which is available in Mayo County Library. Moore was the son of George Henry Moore of Moore hall.

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