LDV among those who opposed 1916 Rising

Posted By: April 29, 2016

RTE. DUBLIN. Friday 29 April 2016

Support for the 1916 Rising was far from universal, with the Loyal Dublin Volunteers among the groups opposing the rebels.

The Loyal Dublin Volunteers was a force set up by southern unionists in 1913 to oppose Home Rule.

An article in the Irish Times reported on the new organisation (also known as the Dublin Volunteer Corps) saying “should civil war break out in Ulster as a consequence of Home Rule, the leaders of the Dublin Volunteers have undertaken to hold in readiness a force of a least 2,000 men for service wherever required by the Commander-In-Chief of the Ulster Army”.

It trained in various locations around Dublin, most notably in Monkstown, a southside suburb which then had a Protestant majority. There were similar loyalist organisations in other parts of the country including Wicklow and Cork.

Photographic Credits:

LDV Arms Cache: Credit National Museum of Ireland
Joe Bayle and Enniskillen Fusiliers: Credit Bayle Family
Loyal Volunteers outside GPO: Credit David Knight from contemporary study “Dublin After the Six Days Insurrection”
Fowler Hall, Masonic Hall and Georgius Rex volunteers: RTÉ Stills Library

Around 600 members of the Loyal Dublin Volunteers joined the British Army at the outbreak of World War I, but 200 joined the Voluntary Training Corps, which was a Home Defence force, according to a report in the Irish Times in 1915.

These men became known variously as Loyal Volunteers or Georgius Rex volunteers and assisted British soldiers during the Rising by carrying out guard duty, supplying transport and policing railway stations. Well over half the total may have been former LDV members.

Five of these men were killed when ambushed at Mount St Bridge at the start of the Rising.

Most of the records of the Loyal Dublin Volunteers including its membership list have been lost so it is impossible to say for certain if any former members of the LDV were killed in the Rising.

The history of the LDV was forgotten for many years until the discovery of an arms cache in No 10 Parnell Square during the 1930s.

It had been the biggest centre of the Orange Order in Dublin.

This association ended after it was taken over by Republicans during the Civil War and damaged in fighting. The LDV rifles were discovered hidden in a wall behind presses during renovations of what was then a section of the post office.