An Irish paramilitary organization, formed in 1912 to exclude Ulster from the Home Rule Bill then about to go through Parliament. Its supporters pledged themselves ‘to use all means’ to resist this. They were given every encouragement by Sir Edward Carson and several prominent English Conservatives. The Volunteers were drilled and armed: thousands of rifles were smuggled into Ireland for their use. A clash between these Volunteers and the nationalist Irish Volunteers (formed in Dublin in 1913) became probable but was averted by the start of World War I.
Subjects: World History.