Bulmer Hobson (b. 1883)
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Bulmer Hobson (b. 1883)


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Track 1: Bulmer Hobson sets out the reasons why his interest in politics was sparked at an early age while attending school in Belfast, and his family’s response to his republican ideals. He recalls joining the Gaelic League where he met Denis McCullough, Peter Murphy and others. Track 2: Contains a discussion on Bulmer Hobson’s membership of the GAA in 1902 in Co. Antrim, and his setting up of a branch of Fianna Éireann (a republican youth movement founded in Dublin in 1909) before joining the IRB, the structure of which he set out to reorganise. He moved to Dublin in 1907 and edited the weekly newspaper, The Republic. His belief, prior to the Rising, that the insurrection was completely impractical, and his reasoning that passive resistance, or guerrilla warfare, would be preferable, are explained. He declares that nobody would listen to his arguments, and he goes on to discuss the setting up of the Ulster Volunteer Force in the North by Edward Carson, and the aftermath thereof. The period during which he edited The Irish Freedom publication, and his elevation to the Supreme Council of the IRB in 1911, are recalled. Also recalled is the occasion at the Rotunda Rink (Room 1) when approximately 3,000 people came to join the Irish Volunteers. Track 3: Some of the leaders of the Irish Volunteers are discussed, including Eoin MacNeill, whom he describes as being more than a figurehead; The O’Rahilly is described as being very active, though not taking a leading role; Seán MacDiarmada, who, because of his physical condition, did not play an active role; P. H. Pearse is described as a dreamer, sworn into the IRB by Bulmer Hobson (interviewee), who says that he was not a practical person and was not involved in building up the organisation. Bulmer Hobson explains that he left the Quaker religious movement as its beliefs did not coincide with his activities in the Irish Volunteers. Also explained is the misrepresentation in the press of the aftermath of the Howth gun-running in 1914, with regard to Mary Spring-Rice and Pádraig Cullen.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

6.60 MB, 7.32 MB, 7.66 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Hobson, Bulmer (recording courtesy of the Mitchell family)

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