Irish Volunteers Centenary Project Launch

The Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive, Armagh, would like to invite you to the launch of the ‘Irish Volunteers Centenary Project’, Wednesday, 22 April, at 7.00 p.m.

This project is based on the interviews that the late Fr Louis O Kane carried out in the late 1960s and early 1970s with many Ulster men and women, in relation to their memories of the 1913-23 Irish revolutionary period, and the War of Independence in particular. These interviews have been available to researchers for some years already, but the fragile state of many of the old reel-to-reel tapes made them difficult to access. Within the last couple of years, the recordings have been transferred to digital format and thus preserved for the future.

The ‘Irish Volunteers Centenary Project’ to be launched next week will raise public awareness of this important and in many respects unparalleled collection of historical material concerning a pivotal period in northern Irish history. Alongside the interviews are numerous documents, photographs and other items of ephemera from the same era.

The launch of the project will provide a broad outline of the events and activities to be undertaken during this two-year project, such as a conference in the autumn. A number of outreach talks will also be held in or around the parishes in which Fr O’Kane served as a priest in south Derry, south Armagh, south-east Tyrone and Co. Louth.

Whereas a few short clips from some interviews are proposed to be played at the launch event, the local outreach events will focus more on the individual personalities and their interviews. So if it does not suit you to attend the launch, you will still have the opportunity to attend some of the local events, of which we will notify you in due course.

The launch will begin at 7.00 p.m. sharp, next Wednesday, 22 April, in the Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library and Archive (beside St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral). Prof. Eunan O’Halpin of Trinity College Dublin will be our guest speaker, and light refreshments will be served at the end.

Anyone interested in the project is welcome to attend, but as places are strictly limited we request that you make contact in advance to notify us of your attendance. You may e-mail us at or, or call the library and archive at 028/048-37522981 or 07826-328065.