By Quincy Wright

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Unionists felt there needed to be some form of oath to the king, at the very least. G. Stewart-Croswait, rector of Littletown in Thurles, proposed a corps of ‘sharpshooters’ for ‘gentlemen of leisure’ who had not seen their way to joining a corps that had in its foundation a ‘political bias’. 64 Some of the advanced nationalists in the 41 IN A TIME OF WAR ranks of the Volunteers before the split were also wary of their involvement. When the Clonmel Corps of Volunteers were reviewed by Powerstown Park owner Morton Jackson on 20 September 1914 and asked to enlist, Seamus O’Neill, one of the IRB leaders, protested and was ordered to leave.

54 But Esmonde followed with a baffling non sequitur: You belong to a county which produced one of the finest regiments in the civilized world, the 18th Royal Irish [Regiment]. Many of your fathers fought in it. I had an uncle myself who fought for the British Empire in days gone by, when we were persecuted and branded as outcasts because we believed in our solid faith… The men of the 18th Royal Irish fought for a cause in which they did not believe, but which they had pledged themselves to defend, and they showed everyone the fighting spirit of the 38 WOODENBRIDGE Tipperary people.

106 A letter in the Irish Times stating that something should be done for the soldiers prompted an immediate response from Harriet Bagwell of Marlfield. She appealed for help in establishing surplus entertainment rooms for the 20 VISTA newly arrived men of the Army Service Corps (ASC) — about 600 in total. 107 The comfort drive continued into Christmas. 109 On 13 August, 1914, a branch of the Nenagh Red Cross Society was established. Lady Dunalley presided over the meeting. ’110 A Voluntary Aid Detachment was also provisionally established.

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