On 28th September 1912 a multitude of people descended on many towns and cities across (at this time) the north of Ireland. They all came with one accord, for only one purpose. They came to sign the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant and for Women the Ulster Declaration. You may be now asking (if you don’t know anything about the Ulster Covenant) why did it need to be signed ?
The Ulster Covenant was a declaration in opposition to the Third Home Rule Bill which would mean that all of the Island of Ireland would be ruled by Dublin. There would be no union between modern Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain. For the Protestants of Northern Ireland this would mean the end to religious liberties which are so pivotal to the Protestants and Christians in Northern Ireland.
Lord Edward Carson was a man from Dublin who was one of the very best men in the Country concerning law. Between him and Sir James Craig the anti-home rule movement began.
There were thousands of men and women who signed the Covenant and Declaration, stating that they were willing to put their lives on the line to save Ulster. The UVF was then formed and soon after the 36th Ulster Division. They fought alongside the Irish division who fought at the Somme and died bravely for their country. A famous quote about the Ulster Men at the Somme in 1916 who signed that covenant only 4 years later said:
“I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday, the 1st. July, as I followed their amazing attack, I felt that I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world.” (Cpt Wilfred Spender, 2 July 1916)