View Full Version : Ireland Question

Silent Hunter
31 Dec 07,, 21:53
What was the name of that rule in the early 20th century that said that British Army service in Ireland was optional for those born there?

26 May 08,, 12:46
Unsure, but Irish soldiers have formed part of the British Army since the 1200's.

01 Jun 08,, 18:55
What was the name of that rule in the early 20th century that said that British Army service in Ireland was optional for those born there?

Maybe you are referring to the Conscription Crisis of 1918, when the whole of the island of Ireland was part of the UK.

Until 1922, when what is now the Republic of Ireland seceded from the UK, the UK was around a third larger than it is now.

Here's what Wikipedia says about the Conscription Crisis:

The Conscription Crisis of 1918 stemmed from a move by the Government of the United Kingdom to impose conscription in Ireland, and contributed to pivotal events in early 20th century politics in Ireland, galvanising popular support for parties favouring separation from the United Kingdom.

From early 1918 the British Army were dangerously short of troops for the Western Front. In the German Spring Offensive of 1918 from March to July, German troops broke through the Allied lines in several sectors of the front in France, with a local advantage in numbers of four to one, putting severe strain on the Allied front.

In addressing this challenge, the British Government turned to conscription in Ireland, as an untapped reservoir of manpower for the battlefields. Despite opposition from the entire Irish Parliamentary Party, conscription for Ireland was voted through at Westminster.

Though large numbers of Irish men had willingly joined Irish regiments and Irish divisions of the New British Army at the outbreak of war in 1914, the likelihood of enforced conscription created a backlash. The reaction was based particularly on the fact that enactment of the 1914 Home Rule Act (as previously recommended in March by the Irish Convention) was controversially linked with a "dual policy" enactment of the Military Draft Bill. The linking of conscription and Home Rule outraged the Irish parties at Westminster, (including the IPP, AIL and others) who walked out in protest and returned to Ireland to organise opposition.

Although the crisis was unique in Ireland at the time, it followed similar campaigns in Australia (1916-17) and Canada (1917).

The Conferences and pledge

The 9 Anti-Conscription Committee members
Griffith, de Valera, Dillon
Devlin, O'Brien W, Johnson

Egan, Healy, O'Brien WXOn 18 April 1918, acting on a resolution of Dublin Corporation, the Lord Mayor of Dublin (Lawrence O'Neill) held a conference at the Mansion House, Dublin. The Irish Anti-Conscription Committee was convened to devise plans to resist conscription, and represented different sections of nationalist opinion: John Dillon and Joseph Devlin for the Irish Parliamentary Party, Eamon de Valera and Arthur Griffith for Sinn Féin, William O'Brien and Timothy Michael Healy for the All-for-Ireland Party and Michael Egan, Thomas Johnson and W X O'Brien representing Labour and the Trade Unions.

On the evening of the same day, the Catholic bishops were holding their annual meeting at Maynooth (with a similar agenda, to deliver a "Statement on Conscription") and they met a delegation from the Mansion House Conference.

From both assemblies came an anti-conscription pledge to be taken at the church door of every parish the next Sunday, 21 April, which read:

“ "Denying the right of the British government to enforce compulsory service in this country, we pledge ourselves solemnly to one another to resist conscription by the most effective means at our disposal." ”


Incidentally, de Valera became the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland after the country broke away from the rest of Britain.

During WWII, despite the Rep of Ireland's supposed neutrality, the anti-Semitic de Valera was in favour of throwing out all the Jews in the Republic of Ireland, and he was the only Head of State in the world to send condolences to the German people on the death of Adolf Hitler.

dave lukins
01 Jun 08,, 21:24
What was the name of that rule in the early 20th century that said that British Army service in Ireland was optional for those born there?

"If you don't like it ...get out" Rule..nobody told me about this when I was serving in Long Kesh and Belfast and getting shot at, riot patrols,
VCP's, Pub fights etc. So, Discrimination was rife. It was OK for me to be killed but not an Irishman.:( I have absolutely no doubt that service Irishmen would have loved to have served in their Country and this "Rule" was not a popular decision