The Irish Volunteers 1913-1915: Recollections and Documents


Edited by F.X. Martin, O.S.A.,1963

New Introduction by Ruán O’Donnell and Mícheál Ó hAodha.
Original Foreward by Éamon De Valera, 1963
New Foreward by Éamon Ó Cuív, TD.

The Irish Volunteers 1913-1915 is a 50th anniversary edition of a classic text of Irish history that has been edited by F.X. Martin. The release of the book will coincide with the centenary of the formation of the Irish Volunteers in November 1913. The title is a rich compendium of original letters, reports, speeches, newspaper editorials, military and administrative instructions and members subscription lists that together create a unique historical record of the Irish Volunteer movement.

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Originally edited by F.X. Martin in 1963, this is the 50th anniversary edition of the classic work on the Irish Volunteers. This book is a wonderful and unique historical record of the Irish Volunteer movement, revealing fascinating documents and essays written by the leading members of Irish nationalism, during a period when the Irish people witnessed social and cultural changes that were as radical as anything seen in Irish history. Including contributions by Bulmer Hobson, Eoin MacNeill, Pádraig Pearse, Michael Davitt, The O’Rahilly, Éamonn Ceannt, and Seán T. Ó Ceallaigh, this a rich compendium of essays, original letters, first hand reports, inspiring speeches, newspaper editorials, military and administrative instructions as well as members’ subscription lists. This classic text explains how the Irish Volunteers, encompassing a new generation of Irish men and women, oversaw the develop ment of a new and re- energized movement, free from much of the party-political machinations and interference that had hindered Irish nationalist attempts at self-determination in previous decades. As described in these essays, the Irish Volunteers were a ‘broad church’ encompassing members of the Gaelic League, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Sinn Féin, the IRB, Irish Citizen Army, Cumann na mBan and Fianna Éireann, all contributing to a unified and dynamic coalition. Something new and unprecedented occurred in Irish history – a movement which we are only now beginning to understand in terms of its great and distinctive legacy, a full century later.

Table of Contents

Original Foreword by ‘His Excellency, Éamon de Valera’, 1963
New Foreword by Éamon Ó Cuív, 2013
Introduction by Rev. Professor F. X. Martin, O.S.A., University College, Dublin, 1963
New Introduction by Ruán O’Donnell and Mícheál Ó hAodha, 2013


Foundation and Growth of the Irish Volunteers, 1913-14 by Bulmer Hobson

  1. The Rise of Carsonism by Bulmer Hobson
  2.  The I.R.B. and the Fianna by Bulmer Hobson
  3.  Ireland’s Hour of Destiny, November, 1913 by Bulmer Hobson
  4. Gun-Running at Howth and Kilcoole, July-August, 1914 by Bulmer Hobson
  5. John Redmond and the Volunteers by Bulmer Hobson


  1.  The North Began by Eoin MacNeill (1st November, 1913)
  2. The Coming Revolution by Padraig Pearse (8th November, 1913)


  1. How the Volunteers Began by Eoin MacNeill
  2. The Irish Prepare to Arm by The O’Rahilly
  3. The Founding of the Irish Volunteers by Eamonn Ceannt
  4. The National Army is Founded by Piaras Beaslai
  5. The Founding of the Irish Volunteers by Sean T. Ó Ceallaigh


  1. The Provisional Committee of the Irish Volunteers by F. X. Martin, O.S.A.
  2. First Subscription List for the Irish Volunteers
  3. Manifesto of the Irish Volunteers, 25th November 1913


  1. The Meeting in the Rotunda Rink, 25th November, 1913
  2. Speeches by Eoin MacNeill, Pádraig Pearse, and Michael Davitt


  1.  “We have the Men!”— Appeal of the Provisional Committee, December, 1913
  2.  “Arms and the Man”— Editorial of The National Student, December, 1913


  1. General Instructions for Forming Companies of Volunteers, 1914
  2. Military Instructions for Units, 1914.
  3. Flags for the Regiments by The O’Rahilly
  4. The Irish Flag by Padraig Pearse
  5. The Volunteer Uniform
  6. The Volunteer Cap Badge
  7. At Last — An Irish Army! by Padraig Pearse (June, 1914)


John Redmond: The Parting of the Ways

  1.  The Provisional Committee Submits but Protests, 16th June, 1914
  2. The Minority Group Protests but Submits, 17th June, 1914.
  3.  Redmond’s Speech in the House of Commons, 3rd August, 1914
  4. Redmond’s Double-Refusal to Lord Kitchener, August, 1914 by Colonel Lewis Comyn
  5. Redmond’s Fateful Speech at Woodenbridge, 20th September, 1914
  6. Redmond’s Change of Policy, August-September, 1914 by Eoin P. Ó Caoimh
  7. The Provisional Committee repudiates Redmond, 24th September, 1914


  1. Proposed Constitution of the Irish Volunteers, October, 1914
  2. The First Convention of the Irish Volunteers, 25th October, 1914
  3. The Volunteers Declare their Policy, 25th October, 1914
  4. Scheme of Military Organisation for the Volunteers, December, 1914


  1.  Ireland for the Irish Nation by Eoin MacNeill (12th February, 1915)
  2.  Why We Want Recruits by Padraig Pearse (22nd May, 1915)
  3. Cumann na mBan: Appeal for the Defence of Ireland Fund, 1915
  4. The State of the Irish Volunteers, October, 1915
  5. The Headquarters Staff of the Volunteers, 1914-15 by F. X. Martin, O.S.A
  6. Rule, Britannia!  — Editorial from The National Student, December, 1915

About the Authors:

F.X. (Francis Xavier) Martin O.S.A. (1922-2000) was an Irish cleric and historian who came to wide public attention through his appearances  on television and his role as a social activist in attempts to preserve aspects of medieval Dublin during the 1970s. The author of The Scholar Revolutionary: Eoin Mac Neill and the Making of the New Ireland published in 1973, Martin was one of three editors of the series A New History of Ireland which has become a standard book of reference. A member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission from 1963 onwards, Martin was also elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 1967. He died in Dublin in 2000 and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Dr Ruán O’Donnell is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Limerick. He is an authority on the history of Irish republicanism and has published extensively on the United Irishmen and Irish Republican Army. His most recent book, Special Category: The IRA in English Prisons (IAP, 2012) is a bestseller.

Dr Mícheál Ó hAodha works at the University of Limerick where he is a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of History. He has published books on various aspects of Irish migration and on the history of the Irish Diaspora.