Saturday 19 January 2019

Major Willie Redmond remembered by North Wexford Historical Society

Historian Jarlath Glynn
Historian Jarlath Glynn

Sara Gahan

A large crowd gathered in Gorey Library recently for the North Wexford Historical Society's talk on Major Willie Redmond.

Historian Jarlath Glynn delivered a very well received lecture entitled 'Redmond 100' about the life and death of Major Redmond.

Major Redmond, brother of John Redmond the Wexford politician and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, was killed at the Battle of Messines Ridge in June, 1917, at the age of 57.

At the outbreak of World War One, John called on the Irish Volunteers to enlist in the new British Army in the hope that this would strengthen the cause of implementing the Home Rule Act, suspended for the duration of the war.

This caused a split in the Volunteers movement and Willie, who was also an MP, was the first to volunteers for the army as a member of the National Volunteers.

As an MP Willie was an outspoken and passionate Irish nationalist. He was one of the first wave of nationalists who sat for an Ulster seat in Westminster. His years as an MP for North Fermanagh affected him and made him realise how difficult it would be for Ulster unionists to accept Home Rule. His death made a greater international impact than the death of any other British soldier at the time. He was buried in outside the official war cemetery in Locre, Belgium where his fellow troops are buried.

Gorey Guardian