Public Talk and launch of pamphlet on the significence of the 1913 Alternative Covenant and the role of progressive Protestantism
Speakers: Rev. David Frazer and Bill O'Brien.
When: Wednesday 3rd October, 7pm
Where: Belvedere Hotel, Denmark Street, Dublin.
The 28th September 2012 will be the centenary of the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant against Home Rule.
Far less well known is the ‘Alternative Ulster Covenant’, signed in October 1913 by some twelve thousand Protestants from County Antrim in support of Home Rule and against partition.
The Counter Covenant was written by Rev JB Armour and Roger Casement.
"Being convinced in our conscience that Home Rule will not be disastrous to the national well-being of Ulster, and that, moreover, the responsibility of self-government would strengthen the popular forces in other provinces, would pave the way to a civil and religious freedom, which we do not now possess, and would give scope for a spirit of citizenship, we, in whose names are underwritten, Irish citizens, Protestants, and loyal supporters of Irish Nationality, relying under God on the proven good feelings and democratic instincts in our fellow-countrymen of other creeds, hereby pledge ourselves to stand by one another and our country in the troubled days that are before us and more especially to help one another when our liberties are threatened by any non-statutory body that may be set up in Ulster or elsewhere. We intend to abide by the just laws of the lawful Parliament of Ireland until such time as it may prove itself hostile to democracy. In sure confidence that God will stand by those who stand by the people, irrespective of class or creed, we hereunto subscribe our names.”
Whilst the numbers who signed the Alternative Covenant do pale in comparison with the numbers who signed Carson’s Covenant, its very existence does call into question the myth of a Protestant Ulster undivided in its loyalty to the Crown and as one in its opposition to Irish nationalism and self-determination.
A historical pamphlet discussing not only the Alternative Covenant but also what James Connolly predicted would be a ‘carnival of reaction’, north and south.
See also the article The 1913 Alternative Ulster Covenant