HISTORIC BOOK LAUNCH: FORGOTTEN GAELIC VOLUNTEERS

22 November 2019 No Comments by The Northern Standard

There was a very special event hosted in the Cardinal O’Fiaich Library and Archives, in Armagh, on Wednesday night last, with the launch by the Arch Bishop of Armagh, Dr Martin, of a truly inspired and inspiring publication by noted historian Donal McAnallen, that chronicles the story of Ulster GAA members who fought in World War I, their chronicle going under the title “Forgotten Gaelic Volunteers”.

The value of this unique publication cannot be overstated as it sheds new light on a period hitherto airbrushed from Irish history. Unionist domination in Ulster at that time meant that those from a nationalist background who signed up in good faith were consigned to a version of history that was difficult to explain and impossible to celebrate in the emerging tumult either side of the border in the new Ireland and in time, such stories had become lost.

The book seeks to uncover the level of that (nationalist) participation in the Great War by members of the GAA and to explore and explain why they were ultimately excluded from the wider nationalist narrative, airbrushed from history or in the words of the author “forgotten due to…

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