Introduction: The Ulster Standpoint

Ronald McNeill
Chapter I

Like all other movements in human affairs, the opposition of the Northern Protestants of Ireland to the agitation of their Nationalist fellow-countrymen for Home Rule can only be properly understood by those who take some pains to get at the true motives, and to appreciate the spirit, of those who engaged in it. And as it is nowhere more true than in Ireland that the events of to-day are the outcome of events that occurred longer ago than yesterday, and that the motives of to-day have consequently their roots buried somewhat deeply in the past, it is no easy task for the outside observer to gain the insight requisite for understanding fairly the conduct of the persons concerned.

It was Mr. Asquith who very truly said that the Irish question, of which one of the principal factors is the opposition of Ulster to Home Rule, "springs from sources that are historic, economic, social, racial, and religious." It would be a hopeless undertaking to attempt here to probe to the bottom an origin so complex; but, whether the sympathies of the reader be for or against the standpoint of the Irish Loyalists, the actual events which make up what may be called the Ulster Movement would be wholly unintelligible without some introductory retrospect. Indeed, to those who set out to judge Irish political conditions without troubling themselves about anything more ancient than their own memory can recall, the most fundamental factor of all—the line of cleavage between Ulster and the rest of the island—is more than unintelligible. In the eyes of many it presents itself as an example of perversity, of "cussedness" on the part of men who insist on magnifying mere differences of opinion, which would be easily composed by reasonable people, into obstacles to co-operation which have no reality behind them.

Writers and speakers on the Nationalist side deride the idea of "two nations" in Ireland, calling in evidence many obvious identities of interest, of sentiment, or of temperament between the inhabitants of the North and of the South. The Ulsterman no more denies these identities than the Greek, the Bulgar, and the Serb would deny that there are features common to all dwellers in the Balkan peninsula; but he is more deeply conscious of the difference than of the likeness between himself and the man from Munster or Connaught. His reply to those who denounced the Irish Government Act of 1920 on the ground that it set up a "partition of Ireland," is that the Act did not "set up," but only recognised, the partition which history made long ago, and which wrecked all attempts to solve the problem of Irish Government that neglected to take it into account. If there be any force in Renan's saying that the root of nationality is "the will to live together," the Nationalist cry of "Ireland a Nation" harmonises ill with the actual conditions of Ireland north and south of the Boyne. This dividing gulf between the two populations in Ireland is the result of the same causes as the political dissension that springs from it, as described by Mr. Asquith in words quoted above. The tendencies of social and racial origin operate for the most part subconsciously—though not perhaps less powerfully on that account; those connected with economic considerations, with religious creeds, and with events in political history enter directly and consciously into the formation of convictions which in turn become the motives for action.

In the mind of the average Ulster Unionist the particular point of contrast between himself and the Nationalist of which he is more forcibly conscious than of any other, and in which all other distinguishing traits are merged, is that he is loyal to the British Crown and the British Flag, whereas the other man is loyal to neither. Religious intolerance, so far as the Protestants are concerned, of which so much is heard, is in actual fact mainly traceable to the same sentiment. It is unfortunately true that the lines of political and of religious division coincide; but religious dissensions seldom flare up except at times of political excitement; and, while it is undeniable that the temper of the creeds more resembles what prevailed in England in the seventeenth than in the twentieth century, yet when overt hostility breaks out it is because the creed is taken—and usually taken rightly—as prima facie evidence of political opinion—political opinion meaning "loyalty" or "disloyalty," as the case may be. The label of "loyalist" is that which the Ulsterman cherishes above all others. It means something definite to him; its special significance is reinforced by the consciousness of its wearers that they are a minority; it sustains the feeling that the division between parties is something deeper and more fundamental than anything that in England is called difference of opinion. This feeling accounts for much that sometimes perplexes even the sympathetic English observer, and moves the hostile partisan to scornful criticism. The ordinary Protestant farmer or artisan of Ulster is by nature as far as possible removed from the being who is derisively nicknamed the "noisy patriot" or the "flag-wagging jingo." If the National Anthem has become a "party tune" in Ireland, it is not because the loyalist sings it, but because the disloyalist shuns it; and its avoidance at gatherings both political and social where Nationalists predominate, naturally makes those who value loyalty the more punctilious in its use. If there is a profuse display of the Union Jack, it is because it is in Ulster not merely "bunting" for decorative purposes as in England, but the symbol of a cherished faith.

There may, perhaps, be some persons, unfamiliar with the Ulster cast of mind, who find it hard to reconcile this profession of passionate loyalty with the methods embarked upon in 1912 by the Ulster people. It is a question upon which there will be something to be said when the narrative reaches the events of that date. Here it need only be stated that, in the eyes of Ulstermen at all events, constitutional orthodoxy is quite a different thing from loyalty, and that true allegiance to the Sovereign is by them sharply differentiated from passive obedience to an Act of Parliament.

The sincerity with which this loyalist creed is held by practically the entire Protestant population of Ulster cannot be questioned by anyone who knows the people, however much he may criticise it on other grounds. And equally sincere is the conviction held by the same people that disloyalty is, and always has been, the essential characteristic of Nationalism. The conviction is founded on close personal contact continued through many generations with the adherents of that political party, and the tradition thus formed draws more support from authentic history than many Englishmen are willing to believe. Consequently, when the General Election of 1918 revealed that the whole of Nationalist Ireland had gone over with foot, horse, and artillery, with bag and baggage, from the camp of so-called Constitutional Home Rule, to the Sinn Feiners who made no pretence that their aim was anything short of complete independent sovereignty for Ireland, no surprise was felt in Ulster. It was there realised that nothing had happened beyond the throwing off of the mask which had been used as a matter of political tactics to disguise what had always been the real underlying aim, if not of the parliamentary leaders, at all events of the great mass of Nationalist opinion throughout the three southern provinces. The whole population had not with one consent changed their views in the course of a night; they had merely rallied to support the first leaders whom they had found prepared to proclaim the true objective. Curiously enough, this truth was realised by an English politician who was in other respects conspicuously deficient in insight regarding Ireland. The Easter insurrection of 1916 in Dublin was only rendered possible by the negligence or the incompetence of the Chief Secretary; but, in giving evidence before the Commission appointed to inquire into it, Mr. Birrell said: "The spirit of what to-day is called Sinn Feinism is mainly composed of the old hatred and distrust of the British connection . . . always there as the background of Irish politics and character"; and, after recalling that Cardinal Newman had observed the same state of feeling in Dublin more than half a century before, Mr. Birrell added quite truly that "this dislike, hatred, disloyalty (so unintelligible to many Englishmen) is hard to define but easy to discern, though incapable of exact measurement from year to year." This disloyal spirit, which struck Newman, and which Mr. Birrell found easy to discern, was of course always familiar to Ulstermen as characteristic of "the South and West," and was their justification for the badge of "loyalist," their assumption of which English Liberals, knowing nothing of Ireland, held to be an unjust slur on the Irish majority.

If this belief in the inherent disloyalty of Nationalist Ireland to the British Empire did any injustice to individual Nationalist politicians, they had nobody but themselves to blame for it. Their pronouncements in America, as well as at home, were scrutinised in Ulster with a care that Englishmen seldom took the trouble to give them. Nor must it be forgotten that, up to the date when Mr. Gladstone made Home Rule a plank in an English party's programme—which, whatever else it did, could not alter the facts of the case—the same conviction, held in Ulster so tenaciously, had prevailed almost universally in Great Britain also; and had been proclaimed by no one so vehemently as by Mr. Gladstone himself, whose famous declarations that the Nationalists of that day were "steeped to the lips in treason," and were "marching through rapine to the dismemberment of the Empire," were not so quickly forgotten in Ulster as in England, nor so easily passed over as either meaningless or untrue as soon as they became inconvenient for a political party to remember. English supporters of Home Rule, when reminded of such utterances, dismissed with a shrug the "unedifying pastime of unearthing buried speeches"; and showed equal determination to see nothing in speeches delivered by Nationalist leaders in America inconsistent with the purely constitutional demand for "extended self-government."

Ulster never would consent to bandage her own eyes in similar fashion, or to plug her ears with wool. The "two voices" of Nationalist leaders, from Mr. Parnell to Mr. Dillon, were equally audible to her; and, of the two, she was certain that the true aim of Nationalist policy was expressed by the one whose tone was disloyal to the British Empire. Look-out was kept for any change in the direction of moderation, for any real indication that those who professed to be "constitutional Nationalists" were any less determined than "the physical force party" to reach the goal described by Parnell in the famous sentence, "None of us will be . . . satisfied until we have destroyed the last link which keeps Ireland bound to England."

No such indication was ever discernible. On the contrary, Parnell's phrase became a refrain to be heard in many later pronouncements of his successors, and the policy he thus described was again and again propounded in after-years on innumerable Nationalist platforms, in speeches constantly quoted to prove, as was the contention of Ulster from the first, that Home Rule as understood by English Liberals was no more than an instalment of the real demand of Nationalists, who, if they once obtained the "comparative freedom" of an Irish legislature—to quote the words used by Mr. Devlin at a later date—would then, with that leverage, "operate by whatever means they should think best to achieve the great and desirable end" of complete independence of Great Britain.

This was an end that could not by any juggling be reconciled with the Ulsterman's notion of "loyalty." Moreover, whatever knowledge he possessed of his country's history—and he knows a good deal more, man for man, than the Englishman—confirmed his deep distrust of those whom, following the example of John Bright, he always bluntly described as "the rebel party." He knew something of the rebellions in Ireland in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, and was under no illusion as to the design for which arms had been taken up in the past. He knew that that design had not changed with the passing of generations, although gentler methods of accomplishing it might sometimes find favour. Indeed, one Nationalist leader himself took pains, at a comparatively recent date, to remove any excuse there may ever have been for doubt on this point. Mr. John Redmond was an orator who selected his words with care, and his appeals to historical analogies were not made haphazard. When he declared (in a speech in 1901) that, "in its essence, the national movement to-day is the same as it was in the days of Hugh O'Neill, of Owen Roe, of Emmet, or of Wolfe Tone," those names, which would have had but a shadowy significance for a popular audience in England, carried very definite meaning to the ears of Irishmen, whether Nationalist or Unionist. Mr. Gladstone, in the fervour of his conversion to Home Rule, was fond of allusions to the work of Molyneux and Swift, Flood and Grattan; but these were men whose Irish patriotism never betrayed them into disloyalty to the British Crown or hostility to the British connection. They were reformers, not rebels. But it was not with the political ideals of such men that Mr. Redmond claimed his own to be identical, nor even with that of O'Connell, the apostle of repeal of the Union, but with the aims of men who, animated solely by hatred of England, sought to establish the complete independence of Ireland by force of arms, and in some cases by calling in (like Roger Casement in our own day) the aid of England's foreign enemies.

In the face of appeals like this to the historic imagination of an impressionable people, it is not surprising that by neither Mr. Redmond's followers nor by his opponents was much account taken of his own personal disapproval of extremes both of means and ends. His opponents in Ulster simply accepted such utterances as confirmation of what they had known all along from other sources to be the actual facts, namely, that the Home Rule agitation was "in its essence" a separatist movement; that its adherents were, as Mr. Redmond himself said on another occasion, "as much rebels as their fathers were in 1798"; and that the men of Ulster were, together with some scattered sympathisers in the other Provinces, the depositaries of the "loyal" tradition.

The latter could boast of a pedigree as long as that of the rebels. If Mr. Redmond's followers were to trace their political ancestry, as he told them, to the great Earl of Tyrone who essayed to overthrow England with the help of the Spaniard and the Pope, the Ulster Protestants could claim descent from the men of the Plantation, through generation after generation of loyalists who had kept the British flag flying in Ireland in times of stress and danger, when Mr. Redmond's historical heroes were making England's difficulty Ireland's opportunity.

There have been, and are, many individual Nationalists, no doubt, especially among the more educated and thoughtful, to whom it would be unjust to impute bad faith when they professed that their political aspirations for Ireland were really limited to obtaining local control of local affairs, and who resented being called "Separatists," since their desire was not for separation from Great Britain but for the "union of hearts," which they believed would grow out of extended self-government. But the answer of Irish Unionists, especially in Ulster, has always been that, whatever such "moderate," or "constitutional" Nationalists might dream, it would be found in practice, if the experiment were made, that no halting-place could be found between legislative union and complete separation. Moreover, the same view was held by men as far as possible removed from the standpoint of the Ulster Protestant. Cardinal Manning, for example, although an intimate personal friend of Gladstone, in a letter to Leo XIII, wrote: "As for myself, Holy Father, allow me to say that I consider a Parliament in Dublin and a separation to be equivalent to the same thing. Ireland is not a Colony like Canada, but it is an integral and vital part of one country."[1]

It is improbable that identical lines of reasoning led the Roman Catholic Cardinal and the Belfast Orangeman and Presbyterian to this identical conclusion; but a position reached by convergent paths from such distant points of departure is defensible presumably on grounds more solid than prejudice or passion. It is unnecessary here to examine those grounds at length, for the present purpose is not to argue the Ulster case, but to let the reader know what was, as a matter of fact, the Ulster point of view, whether that point of view was well or ill founded.

But, while the opinion that a Dublin Parliament meant separation was shared by many who had little else in common with the Ulster Protestants, the latter stood alone in the intensity of their conviction that "Home Rule meant Rome Rule." It has already been mentioned that it is the "disloyalty" attributed rightly or wrongly to the Roman Catholics as a body that has been, in recent times at all events, the mainspring of Protestant distrust. But sectarian feeling, everywhere common between rival creeds, is, of course, by no means absent. Englishmen find it hard to understand what seems to them the bigoted and senseless animosity of the rival faiths in Ireland. This is due to the astonishing shortness of their memory in regard to their own history, and their very limited outlook on the world outside their own island. If, without looking further back in their history, they reflected that the "No Popery" feeling in England in mid-Victorian days was scarcely less intense than it is in Ulster to-day; or if they realised the extent to which Gambetta's "Le cléricalisme, voilà l'ennemi" continues still to influence public life in France, they might be less ready to censure the Irish Protestant's dislike of priestly interference in affairs outside the domain of faith and morals. It is indeed remarkable that Nonconformists, especially in Wales, who within living memory have displayed their own horror of the much milder form of sacerdotalism to be found in the Anglican Church, have no sympathy apparently with the Presbyterian and the Methodist in Ulster when the latter kick against the encompassing pressure of the Roman Catholic priesthood, not in educational matters alone, but in all the petty activities of every-day life.

Whenever this aspect of the Home Rule controversy was emphasised Englishmen asked what sort of persecution Irish Protestants had to fear from a Parliament in Dublin, and appeared to think all such fear illusory unless evidence could be adduced that the Holy Office was to be set up at Maynooth, equipped with faggot and thumbscrew. Of persecution of that sort there never has been, of course, any apprehension in modern times. Individual Catholics and Protestants live side by side in Ireland with fully as much amity as elsewhere, but whereas the Catholic instinctively, and by upbringing, looks to the parish priest as his director in all affairs of life, the Protestant dislikes and resists clerical influence as strongly as does the Nonconformist in England and Wales—and with much better reason. For the latter has never known clericalism as it exists in a Roman Catholic country where the Church is wholly unrestrained by the civil power. He has resented what he regards as Anglican arrogance in regard to educational management or the use of burying-grounds, but he has never experienced a much more aggressive clerical temper exercised in all the incidents of daily life—in the market, the political meeting, the disposition of property, the amusements of the people, the polling booth, the farm, and the home.

This involves no condemnation of the Irish priest as an individual or as a minister of his Church. He is kind-hearted, charitable, and conscientious; and, except that it does not encourage self-reliance and enterprise, his influence with his own people is no more open to criticism than that of any other body of religious ministers. But the Roman Catholic Church has always made a larger claim than any other on the obedience of its adherents, and it has always enforced that obedience whenever it has had the power by methods which, in Protestant opinion, are extremely objectionable. In theory the claim may be limited to affairs concerned with faith and morals; but the definition of such affairs is a very elastic one. Cardinal Logue not many years ago said: "When political action trenches upon faith or morals or affects religion, the Vicar of Christ, as the supreme teacher and guardian of faith and morals, and as the custodian of the immunities of religion, has, by Divine Right, authority to interfere and to enforce his decisions." How far this principle is in practice carried beyond the limits so defined was proved in the famous Meath election petition in 1892, in which the Judge who tried it, himself a devout Catholic, declared: "The Church became converted for the time being into a vast political agency, a great moral machine moving with resistless influence, united action, and a single will. Every priest who was examined was a canvasser; the canvas was everywhere—on the altar, in the vestry, on the roads, in the houses." And while an election was in progress in County Tyrone in 1911 a parish priest announced that any Catholic who should vote for the Unionist candidate would be held responsible at the Day of Judgment." A still more notorious example of clericalism in secular affairs, within the recollection of Englishmen, was the veto on the Military Service Act proclaimed from the altars of the Catholic Churches, which, during the Great War, defeated the application to Ireland of the compulsory service which England, Scotland, and Wales accepted as the only alternative to national defeat and humiliation.

But these were only conspicuous examples of what the Irish Protestant sees around him every day of his life. The promulgation in 1908 of the Vatican decree, Nec Temere, a papal reassertion of the canonical invalidity of mixed marriages, followed as it was by notorious cases of the victimisation of Protestant women by the application of its principles, did not encourage the Protestants to welcome the prospect of a Catholic Parliament that would have control of the marriage law; nor did they any more readily welcome the prospect of national education on purely ecclesiastical lines. Another Vatican decree that was equally alarming to Protestants was that entitled Motu Proprio, by which any Catholic layman was ipso facto excommunicated who should have the temerity to bring a priest into a civil court either as defendant or witness. Medievalism like this was felt by Ulster Protestants to be irreconcilable with modern ideas of democratic freedom, and to indicate a temper that boded ill for any regime which would be subject to its inspiration. These were matters, it is true,—and there were perhaps some others of a similar nature—on which it is possible to conceive more or less satisfactory legislative safeguards being provided; but as regards the indefinable but innumerable minutiae in which the prevailing ecclesiastical standpoint creates an atmosphere in which daily life has to be carried on, no safeguards could be devised, and it was the realisation of this truth in the light of their own experience that made the Ulstermen continually close their ears to allurements of that sort.

The Roman Church is quite consistent, and from its own point of view praiseworthy, in its assertion of its right, and its duty, to control the lives and thoughts of men; but this assertion has produced a clash with the non-ecclesiastical mind in almost every country where Catholicism is the dominant religious faith. But in Ireland, unlike Continental countries, there is no Catholic lay opinion—or almost none—able to make its voice heard against clerical dictation, and consequently the Protestants felt convinced, with good reason, that any legislature in Ireland must take its tone from this pervading mental and moral atmosphere, and that all its proceedings would necessarily be tainted by it.

Prior to 1885 the political complexion of Ulster was in the main Liberal. The Presbyterians, who formed the majority of the Protestant population, collateral descendants of the men who emigrated in the eighteenth century and formed the backbone of Washington's army, and direct descendants of those who joined the United Irishmen in 1798, were of a pronounced Liberal type, and their frequently strong disapproval of Orangeism made any united political action an improbable occurrence. But the crisis brought about by Gladstone's declaration in favour of Home Rule instantly swept all sections of Loyalists into a single camp. There was practically not a Liberal left who did not become Unionist, and, although a separate organisation of Liberal Unionists was maintained, the cooperation with Conservatives was so whole-hearted and complete as almost to amount to fusion from the outset.

The immediate cessation of class friction was still more remarkable. For more than a decade the perennial quarrel between landlord and tenant had been increasing in intensity, and the recent land legislation had disposed the latter to look upon Gladstone as a deliverer. Their gratitude was wiped out the moment he hoisted the green flag, while the labourers enfranchised by the Act of 1884 eagerly enrolled themselves as the bitterest enemies of his new Irish policy. The unanimity of the country-side was matched in the towns, and especially in Belfast, where, with the single exception of a definitely Catholic quarter, employer and artisan were as whole-heartedly united as were landlord and tenant in passionate resentment at what they regarded as the betrayal by England's foremost statesman of England's only friends in Ireland.

The defeat of the Home Rule Bill of 1886 brought relief from the immediate strain of anxiety. But it was at once realised that the encouragement and support given to Irish disloyalty for the first time by one of the great political parties in Great Britain was a step that could never be recalled. Henceforth the vigilance required to prevent being taken unawares, and the untiring organisation necessary for making effective defence against an attack which, although it had signally failed at the first onslaught, was certain to be renewed, welded all the previously diverse social and political elements in Ulster into a single compact mass, tempered to the maximum power of resistance. There was room for no other thought in the minds of men who felt as if living in a beleaguered citadel, whose flag they were bound in honour to keep flying to the last. The "loyalist" tradition acquired fresh meaning and strength, and its historical setting took a more conscious hold on the public mind of Ulster, as men studied afresh the story of the Relief of Derry or the horrors of 1641. Visits of encouragement from the leaders of Unionism across the Channel, men like Lord Salisbury, Mr. Balfour, Mr. Chamberlain, Lord Randolph Churchill, fortified the resolution of a populace that came more and more to regard themselves as a bulwark of the Empire, on whom destiny, while conferring on them the honour of upholding the flag, had imposed the duty of putting into actual practice the familiar motto of the Orange Lodges—"No surrender."

From a psychology so bred and nourished sprang a political temper which, as it hardened with the passing years, appeared to English Home Rulers to be "stiff-necked," "bigoted," and "intractable." It certainly was a state of mind very different from those shifting gusts of transient impression which in England go by the name of public opinion; and, if these epithets in the mouths of opponents be taken as no more than synonyms for "uncompromising," they were not undeserved. At a memorable meeting at the Albert Hall in London on the 22nd of April, 1893, Dr. Alexander, Bishop of Derry, poet, orator, and divine, declared in an eloquent passage that was felt to be the exact expression of Ulster conviction, that the people of Ulster, when exhorted to show confidence in their southern fellow-countrymen, "could no more be confiding about its liberty than a pure woman can be confiding about her honour."

Here was the irreconcilable division. The Nationalist talked of centuries of "oppression," and demanded the dissolution of the Union in the name of liberty. The Ulsterman, while far from denying the misgovernment of former times, knew that it was the fruit of false ideas which had passed away, and that the Ireland in which he lived enjoyed as much liberty as any land on earth; and he feared the loss of the true liberty he had gained if put back under a regime of Nationalist and Ultramontane domination. And so for more than thirty years the people of Ulster for whom Bishop Alexander spoke made good his words. If in the end compromise was forced upon them it was not because their standpoint had changed, and it was only in circumstances which involved no dishonour, and which preserved them from what they chiefly dreaded, subjection to a Dublin Parliament inspired by clericalism and disloyalty to the Empire.

The development which brought about the change from Ulster's resolute stand for unimpaired union with Great Britain to her reluctant acceptance of a separate local constitution for the predominantly Protestant portion of the Province, presents a deeply interesting illustration of the truth of a pregnant dictum of Maine's on the working of democratic institutions.

"Democracies," he says, "are quite paralysed by the plea of nationality. There is no more effective way of attacking them than by admitting the right of the majority to govern, but denying that the majority so entitled is the particular majority which claims the right." [2]

This is precisely what occurred in regard to Ulster's relation to Great Britain and to the rest of Ireland respectively. The will of the majority must prevail, certainly. But what majority? Unionists maintained that only the majority in the United Kingdom could decide, and that it had never in fact decided in favour of repealing the Act of Union; Lord Rosebery at one time held that a majority in Great Britain alone, as the "Predominant Partner," must first give its consent; Irish Nationalists argued that the majority in Ireland, as a distinct unit, was the only one that should count. Ulster, whilst agreeing with the general Unionist position, contended ultimately that her own majority was as well entitled to be heard in regard to her own fate as the majority in Ireland as a whole. To the Nationalist claim that Ireland was a nation she replied that it was either two nations or none, and that if one of the two had a right to "self-determination," the other had it equally. Thus the axiom of democracy that government is by the majority was, as Maine said, "paralysed by the plea of nationality," since the contending parties appealed to the same principle without having any common ground as to how it should be applied to the case in dispute.

If the Union with Great Britain was to be abrogated, which Pitt had only established when "a full measure of Home Rule" had produced a bloody insurrection and Irish collusion with England's external enemies, Ulster could at all events in the last resort take her stand on Abraham Lincoln's famous proposition which created West Virginia: "A minority of a large community who make certain claims for self-government cannot, in logic or in substance, refuse the same claims to a much larger proportionate minority among themselves."

The Loyalists of Ulster were successful in holding this second line, when the first was no longer tenable; but they only retired from the first line—the maintenance of the legislative union—after a long and obstinate defence which it is the purpose of the following pages to relate.

Read "Ulster's Stand for Union" at your leisure

Ulster's Stand for Union

Read Ulster's Stand for Union at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

Ronald McNeill provides a truly fascinating account of the Home Rule Crisis of 1912 from a Unionist perspective. The book covers, inter alia, the formation of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), the drafting and signing of the Solemn League and Covenant, gun-running to Larne and Donaghadee, Ulster in the Great War, and the establishment of the Ulster Parliament in 1921.

The ebook is available in .mobi (for Kindle), .epub (for iBooks, etc.), and .pdf formats, and a sample PDF can be downloaded. For more information on the book see details ».