Ulster Volunteers remembered in Newtownhamilton
The South Armagh Branch of the Ancre Somme Association held their first public event on Wednesday evening in Newtownhamilton High School.
The poor weather conditions undoubtedly affected the turnout, but over fifty people from across the district braved the current cold spell to attend.
The purpose of the evening was to take a look at the Ulster Volunteers of 1913 and 1914, with a specific focus on the personalities and activities of the anti Home Rule movement in South Armagh.
The Branch secretary Mark Gibson opened proceedings with a brief outline of the history of the Ancre Somme Association and its South Armagh Branch, before chairman Quincey Dougan gave an interesting address covering the formation and structure of the Ulster Volunteer Force.
Mr Dougan’s presentation included an outline of the activities of two Battalions of Ulster Volunteers who worked in different areas in the South of the Orchard County.
Those attending were particularly interested in details surrounding the Cullyhanna Company U.V.F. and information regarding other units operating in Belleek, Newtownhamilton, Darkley, Aughnagurgan, Carnagh, Clady, Bessbrook, Tullyvallen, Armaghbreague, Keady, Glenanne and Tullyhappy.
The evening was brought to a close by Iain Carlisle from the Ulster Scots Community Network who officially launched the organisations new booklet on the formation of the Ulster Volunteers.
Copies of the booklet can be obtained from the Network through their South Ulster office in Markethill by ringing Development Officer Charles Neville on 07824 510 304, or can be downloaded from their website at http://www.ulster-scots.com.
Quincey Dougan said of the night, “There is much in Irish History that has been diluted into slogan and sound bite form. In doing so our many in our entire community have lost the ability to understand why past events unfolded, and therefore can not appreciate why certain attitudes and views exist today.
“With events like this seminar it is hoped that this gap can be addressed. The Ulster Volunteers are effectively the reason why Northern Ireland exists today and as such their formation, history and legacy is of prime importance to everyone in the Province.”
Over the coming months the Branch hopes to organise similar events across the greater South Armagh area and further afield.
For more information on future events; if you would like to host or organise an event; or for general information on the South Armagh Branch of the Ancre Somme Association; you can ring or text Quincey directly on 07835624221, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the group’s Facebook page.
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