Ireland and the First World War - HI828

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
View Timetable
7 30 (15)







The module will examine the experience of Ireland during the First World War. There is now considerable historiography available on Irish recruitment to the British armed forces between 1914 and 1918 and this will form the basis for three seminars; considering Nationalist and Unionist reactions to recruitment and the place of Ireland within wider UK recruitment. Political developments, caused largely by the war, namely, the decline of the Irish Parliamentary Party, rise of the Sinn Fein movement and Irish Unionisms acceptance of partition will form another important element of the module. There has been considerable work carried out on commemoration of the Great War in Ireland and Irish commemoration overseas (most notably the building of the Ulster Tower at Thiepval, France in 1921 and of the Irish Peace Park at Messines / Mesen, Belgium in 1998) and this will form the focus for two seminars. Other seminars will consider the Irish economy and the war and Irish paramilitarism between 1914 and 1918.


This module appears in:

Method of assessment

The module is assessed by:

• An oral presentation of fifteen minutes duration which will count towards 15% of the total mark for this module.

• One 6000 word essay, worth 85% of the total mark.

Indicative reading

• Thomas Bartlett and Keith Jeffery (eds.), A Military History of Ireland (Cambridge University Press, 1996)
• Timothy Bowman, Irish Regiments in the Great War: Discipline and Morale (Manchester University Press, 2003)
• Timothy Bowman, Carson's Army: The Ulster Volunteer Force, 1910-1922 (Manchester University Press, 2007)
• Colin Cousins, Armagh and the Great War (The History Press Ireland, Dublin, 2011)
• Terence Denman, Ireland's Unknown Soldiers: The 16th (Irish) Division in the Great War (Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 1992)
• David Fitzpatrick (ed.), Ireland and the First World War (Trinity History Workshop and the Lilliput Press, Dublin, 1988)
• Richard Grayson, Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists fought and died together in the First World War (Hambledon, London, 2009)
• Adrian Gregory and Senia Paseta (eds.), Ireland and the Great War: 'A War to unite us all’? (Manchester University Press, 2002)
• John Horne (ed.), Our War: Ireland and the Great War (Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 2008)
• Keith Jeffery, Ireland and the Great War (Cambridge University Press, 2000)
• Catriona Pennell, A Kingdom United: Popular Responses to the Outbreak of the First World War in Britain and Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2012)
• Michael Wheatley, Nationalism and the Irish Party: Provincial Ireland 1910-1916 (Oxford University Press, 2005)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Students will acquire a knowledge and understanding of the impact of the Great War on Ireland. Upon successful completion of the class, students will:

11.1 Understand the experience of Ireland within the wider context of the United Kingdom and Europe at War.
11.2 Understand the impact which the Great War made on Irish politics, setting the preconditions for the collapse of the Irish Parliamentary Party, rise of Sinn Fein and partition of Ireland.
11.3 Understand the impact of the Great War on the Irish economy.
11.4 Understand the impact of the Great War on wider Irish society
11.5 Understand the complex political contexts concerning Irish commemoration of the First World War.

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