Carson: ‘I go to my people’
Sir Edward Carson: 'I am going to share with my followers in Ulster anything that may befall them.' Photo: Illustrated London News [London, England], 21 February 1914

Carson: ‘I go to my people’

Published: 21 March 1914

Shortly before leaving London by train, Sir Edward Carson told reporters at Euston Station: ‘My place is in Ulster, among my followers. I have finished talking in the House of Commons. I go to my people. I am going to share with my followers in Ulster anything that may befall them. Whatever may come we are prepared.’

On arrival in Belfast he was met by a crowd of 1,000 people at quayside. The arrival was stewarded by a detachment of 100 men of the West Belfast Special Reserve of the Ulster Volunteers, with bandoliers, haversacks and putties.

Before departing the vessel, he was joined on board by Captain James Craig and General Sir George Richardson of the Ulster Volunteers. As they boarded, a number of revolver shots were discharged in the air.

Letters from the Central Police Offices in Blackpool offering assistance in the policing of Ireland 'in view of the likelihood of grave disorder arising in Ulster in the immediate future'. Click to enlarge. (Images: National Archives of Ireland CSORP 1914 4849)

Later, when the men were departing the ship, the crowd broke into immense cheering and a motor car carried Sir Edward Carson under escort to Craigavon, the home of Sir James Craig.

Meanwhile, intense activity continued all day today at the Old Town Hall, Unionist headquarters in Belfast. Dozens of motor cyclists and motor cars spent the day ferrying stores from the building to unknown locations. A large quantity of documents were also removed.

Elsewhere across Ulster, the homes of leading Ulster Unionists are being protected by up to 800 men of the Ulster Volunteers as rumours persist of planned arrests.

The Daily Telegraph reported: ‘There is a strong belief, founded upon facts which appear incontrovertible, that the Government intend to attempt the arrest of the Unionist leaders. Every thinking man knows that the arrest of the Ulster Unionist leaders will start civil war. The Government must know it too.’

RELATED CONTENT

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.