Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

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Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby bannerman on Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:28 pm

Hello all,
Ive been think and talking about this for a long time and I think its time I started putting up kitlists for the 1916 -1921 period. there are a number of reasons for this. Firstly alot of people have been e-mailing me and asking me through the site what is and isnt period. Secondly there are still people who have been re-enacting the period for a number of seasons and still have very sloppy kit. Finaly and most importantly In my opinion there is absolutely no excuse for having poor kit for this period of Irish history.

If some one is re-enacting medieval Ireland or some other early period they have to base their kit on the book of Kells, stone carvings, period descriptions translated from historical texts and occasional archaeological finds etc. The result is often debates here on what is and is not period and filling in the gaps with informed conjecture. However in the 1916 period we have an abundance period photos, survivors accounts, displays of the actual uniforms and equipment used in both Collins Barracks Museum and Kilmainham Jail. We can even buy origional bandoliers and leatherwork used at the time. Even if someone dosent have the money to buy a uniform you can wear civilian clothes from the time and still be perfectly accurate with a pair of courduroy trousers, tweed jacket and waistcoat that you bought in oxfam. So there is no shortage of evidence and no acceptable excuses for bad kit.

When Ive done War of Independence re-enactment at multiperiod gigs people from other groups have often thrown a trenchcoat over their lets say 1798 kit and taken part after they have borrowed a hat a rifle and a few other pieces of equipment from me. While this help was and is greatly appreciated - the standard of our kit has to improve all round and simply throwing on a trench coat is no longer acceptable.

For Ray Murphy, Eamon Dunne and myself who have been doing this period since the Khaki and Green was founded in 2004 we have seen people spend alot of time getting kit together, researching it and making it look as accurate as possible - sometimes even making moulds of origional buttons to get things as close to perfect as we can. However its always a shame to see ten people in accurate kit for the period followed by another two wearing a modern Irish Army style trench coat, a 1930's style bandolier and the wrong colour trousers bringing down the portrayal of the whole group.

So this is my attempt to help people out, show them what is accurate for the period and the standard that we need to improve to. If any one wants more information or has any queries id be glad to help them out just e-mail me at padraigoruairc@gmail.com

Brief History of the Irish Citizens Army

The army rose out of the great strike of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union in 1913, known as the Lockout of 1913. The dispute was over the recognition of this labour union founded by James Larkin. It began when William Martin Murphy, an industrialist, locked out some trade unionists on August 19, 1913. In response, Larkin called an all out strike on Murphy's Dublin United Tramway Company. Other companies, encouraged by Murphy, sacked ITGWU members in an effort to break the union. The conflict eventually escalated to involve 400 employers and 25,000 workers.This strike caused most of Dublin to come to an economic standstill and was marked by vicious rioting between the strikers and the Dublin Metropolitan Police, particularly at a rally on O'Connell street on August 31, in which two men were beaten to death and about 500 more injured. Another striker was later shot dead by a strike-breaker. The violence at union rallies during the strike prompted Larkin to call for a worker's militia to be formed to protect themselves against the police. The Citizen army for the duration of the lockout was armed with hurling sticks and bats in order to protect worker's demonstration from the police. Jack White, a former British Army Captain, volunteered to train this army and offered 50 pounds towards the cost of shoes to workers so they could train. In addition to its role as a self defence organisation, the army, which was drilled in Croydon Park in Fairview by White, provided a diversion for workers unemployed and idle during the dispute. After a six-month standoff, the workers returned to work hungry and defeated in January 1914. The original purpose of the ICA was over, but it would soon be totally transformed.
The Irish Citizen Army was totally reorganised in 1914. In March of that year, a demonstration of the Citizen Army was attacked by the police and Jack White, its commander, was arrested. Sean O'Casey then suggested that the ICA needed a more formal organisation. O'Casey wrote a constitution stating the Army's principles as follows: the ownership of Ireland, moral and material, is vested of right in the people of Ireland and to "sink all difference of birth property and creed under the common name of Irish people".
On Larkin's insistence, all members were also required to be members of a trade union, if eligible. In mid 1914,
James Larkin left Ireland for America in October 1914, leaving the Citizen Army under the command of James Connolly. Whereas during the Lockout, the ICA had been a workers' self defence militia, Connolly conceived of it as a revolutionary organisation - dedicated to the creation of an Irish socialist republic "The Workers Republic". He had served in the British army in his youth and knew something about military tactics and discipline. Other active members in the early days included Sean O'Casey, Countess Markievicz, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. Sheehy-Skeffington and O'Casey left the ICA when it became apparent that Connolly was moving towards the radical nationalist group, the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
James Connolly was a convinced Marxist socialist and Irish Republican and believed that achieving political change through physical force, in the tradition of the Fenians, was legitimate.
Lenin would later describe the Citizen Army as being the first red army in Europe. This organisation was one of the first to offer equal membership to both men and women and trained them both in the use of weapons. The army's headquarters was the ITGWU union building, Liberty Hall and they were almost entirely Dublin based. However, Connolly also set up branches in Tralee and Killarney in county Kerry. In October 1915, armed ICA pickets patrolled a strike by dockers at Dublin port. Attempts were made to set up Branches of the ICA in Limerick but were not successfull. (However in the Years 1919 and 1920 the remnants of The Citizen Army did organise small groups in Waterford, Cork and Monoghan)
Appalled by the participation of Irishmen in the First World War, which he regarded as an imperialist, capitalist conflict, Connolly began openly calling for insurrection in his newspaper, the Irish Worker. When this was banned, he opened another the Worker's Republic. The British authorities tolerated the open drilling and bearing of arms by the ICA, thinking that to clamp down on the organisation would provoke further unrest. A small group of Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) conspirators within the Irish Volunteers movement were also planning a rising. Worried that Connolly would embark on premature military action with the ICA, Connolly was approached and inducted into the IRB's Supreme Council to co-ordinate their preparations for the armed rebellion known as the Easter Rising.
The ICA never numbered more than 250 to 300 men and women nation wide. On Monday April 24, 1916, 220 of them (including 28 women) took part in the Easter Rising, alongside a much larger body of the Irish Volunteers. They helped occupy the General Post Office on O'Connell Street (then Sackville Street), Dublin's main thoroughfare. Mallin, Connolly's second in command, along with Markievizc and an ICA company, occupied St Stephen's Green. Another company under Sean Connolly took over City Hall and attacked Dublin Castle. Finally, a detachment occupied Harcourt Street railway station. ICA men were the first rebel causalties of Easter Week, two of them being killed in an abortive attack on Dublin Castle. Sean Connolly, an ICA officer, was the first rebel fatality. A total of eleven Citizen Army men were killed in action in the rising, five in the City Hall/Dublin castle area, five in Stephen's Green and one in the GPO.
Connolly was made commander of the rebel forces in Dublin during the Rising and issued orders to surrender after a week. He and Mallin were executed by British army firing squad some weeks later. The surviving ICA members were interned in Frongoch in Wales until 1919.
Many of them later joined the new Irish Republican Army (IRA) from 1917 on, but the Citizen Army remained in existence until the 1930s. According to some reports ICA units were involved in various IRA operations during the Irish War of Independence. However the ICA always maintained its Independence never fully coming under IRA control for example ICA members stationed at Liberty Hall were not informed about or asked to take part in the burning of the Customs House in May 1921 and were forced to watch the ensuing drama from the steps and windows of Liberty Hall directly across the road. During the fighting in Dublin that began the Irish Civil War in June 1922, some elements of the ICA (which by this time had about 140 members) were involved in the Anti-Treaty IRA occupation and defence of the Four Courts while others occupied Liberty Hall, the Trade Union headquarters
In the 1920s and 1930s, the ICA was kept alive by veterans such as Seamus MacGowan, Dick McCormick and Frank Purcell, though perhaps only as an old comrades association by veterans of 1916.
Uniformed Citizen Army men provided a guard of honour at Constance Markievicz's funeral in 1927.
In 1934, Peadar O'Donnell and other left wing republicans left the IRA and founded the Republican Congress. For a brief time, they revived the ICA as a paramilitary force, intended to be an armed wing for their new movement. According to Brian Hanley's history of the IRA, the revived Citizen Army had 300 or so members around the country in 1935. However, the Congress itself split in 1935 and collapsed shortly afterwards. Most of the ICA members joined the Irish Labour Party. The ICA's last public appearance was to accompany the funeral procession of union leader James Larkin in Dublin in 1947.

Uniform of The Irish Citizen Army
Taken from R.M. Foxs Book - The Irish Citizen Army Page 68
"Until the uniforms came (in 1914), the rank and file wore Irish linen armlets of a light blue colour with the letters ICA on them, while the officers wore bands of crimson. When a consignment of belts, havoursacks and bayonets arrived the men were soon busy cleaning, polishing and oiling with enthousiasm. Big slough hats conpleted the turn out. ... When the uniforms came the enthousiasm was greater than ever. They were of a darker green than those worn by the Irish Volunteers, and it became the custom among the Transport Union members to fasten up one side of the big slouch hats with the red hand badge of the Union."

The mens uniform was of a good quality serge coloured a very dark grenn - almost exactly the same colour as the R.I.C. bottle green. The uniform had a high collar and had two brest pockets and two large box pockets. The buttons used were the "football" type compressed leather buttons in both dark and light brown. (These buttons were also standard issue on Cumann Na M-Bann uniforms and were used on Irish Volunteer and later IRA uniforms becoming more common post 1916 as the official brass "IV" buttons became harder to get. Theres an illustration below - Im alsp reproducing them if anyone needs any) The slouch hat was of the same very dark green colour. It was similar in style to the hats worn by the ANZAC's in the British Forces and the Boer "Cronje" hat. The Cap badge of the Irish Citizens army was the Irish Transport And General Workers Union badge for 1913 The red hand of Ulster which sometimes had the letters ITGWU on it in raised detail. Ordinary ranks sometimes wore a shoulder title in block letters reading ICA.
The ICA belt was of the same pattern as the RIC belt with the Brass "Snake S" Bely Buckle. Those carrying rifles wore black bandoliers and all members carried a white linnen ammunition and kit bag. The trousers were the same dark green colour and matierial, but appart from one picture of Marcivictz wearing Puttees I have never seen a photo of any other member of the ICA wearing putees or leather leggings.

The womens uniform was of a similar dark green colour but was of a much coarser heavy tweed matierial. It had an open V - neck style collar. The following is a reference to it from Helena Maloneys Bureau of Military History statement. Countess Marcivictz was the most photographed female member of the ICA however she is usually pictured wearing a mans uniform - as explained below. Which gave the idea that ICA men and women both wore the same uniform.
Helena Maloney -"In his book Sean O Faoilain attributed vanity to Madame Marcivictz as the motive of her nationalist and military activitys, and stressed her fondness for uniforms. The truth was she had never bought a uniform - like many other members of the Citizen army except a Boy Scouts shirt which then cost 3/6 d, and a boy scouts hat. Her Citizen Army dress up to the week before the Rising consisted of a plain tweed costume with a sam browne belt and black turned up hat, similar to the men's with a small bunch of cocks feathers. She went out to the rebellion in the uniform coat of Michael Mallin, who had got a new uniform. And he was so slim his coat fitted her perfectly."
Women wore the same bandoliers and white kit bags as the men but sometimes wore sam browne belts rather than the "Snake S" buckle belts. Most women wore a skirt in the same colour but some such as marcivictz wore trousers underneath of just simply trousers. (Note women wearing trousers in 1910;s Ireland was exceptionaly unusual and broke entirely with accepted ideas of dress style and morality.

Officers Uniform
ICA officers essentialy wore the same uniforms as the ordinary member. Except that instead of the Block letter ICA shoulder title they wore a scrolled of italic pair of badges with the letters ICA on their collars as illustrated on the picture of Marcivictz below.The full photograph (Not Illustrated) of Marcivictz wearing Mallins old uniform shows that it had raised patches in a similar shape to I.V and British army officers uniforms but there were not outlined with lace like the I.V. and British uniforms. The ICA later adopted diamond shaped brass rank markings worn in pairs on the epaluttes. A post 1917 ICA uniform on display on the Ulster Somme Heritage centre Newton Ards has used Irish Volunteer brass "Trefoil" rank markings on the epaluttes in sunstitution for the official diamond shaped rank markings which were presumable not available. James Connolly had a uniform made for himself just before the Easter Rising and it is described in Ina Connolly Herons book "Portrait of a Rebel Father"

Citizen Army Boy Scouts
As well as founding Na Fianna Eireann countess Marcivictz also ran the ICA Boy Scouts Their uniform was similar to the Fianna except that they had red facings and wore blue neckerchiefs or scarves. The Irish National Guard a small breakaway group from trhe Fianna again with a slightly different uniform were also closely allied to the ICA Boy Scouts. Clan Na Gael Girl Scouts were founded after some branches of Na Fianna Eireann - "The Irish National Boy Scouts" refused to admit girls as members they also worked closely with the ICA. Below is a reference to the ICA Boy Scouts and their Uniform in Cork in 1920 from James Alan Busby's Bureau of Military History Statement No 1628
"Late in 1918 or perhaps early in 1919 , a Fianna representative from Dublin came to Cork and created a split in our ranks. A rival group known as the Citizen Army Boy Scouts was started in Cork. At the same time we had a girls contingent attached to the Fianna known as the Clan Na Gael Girl Guides. The Misses Wallace ofSt. Augustine Street Cork, were amongst the leaders of the latter group. There was no difference in policy between the Fianna and the Citizen Army scouts. There was however a small distinction in the uniform, we wore a saffrom scarf while they wore a blue scarf. They had as far as I remember about forty boys at most in the organisation, but to the best of my belief it petered out about 1920."

Weapons and Armament.
like the Irish Volunteers the ICA used a motley variety of weapons and were glad of anything they could get their hands on. Many of their cartridges and bombs/grenades were manufactured by members of the ICA in the basement of Liberty Hall. In comparison to the Irish Volunteers the ICA being a small force were far better uniformed arm armed. Photos {see below) of the army in training at Croydon Park Dublin show up to 70 men all armed with rifles. The most common rifle used was a german bolt action mauser. Contarty to many reports the ICA did not take part in the Howth Gunrunning of 1914 but some ICA members managed to steal "Howth Mausers" hidden by the Volunteers when they were confronted by the Kings Own Scottish Borders and RIC on their way back into the city that evening. Members of the ITGWU worked on the docks in Dublin and were later able to smuggle in quantities of mauser rifles for the ICA before 1916. Lee Enfield rifles were initaly scarce in the ICA up to 1916 but in the War of Independence they managed to find a source in a sympathetic British soldier who managed to smuggle out Lee Enfields from Portobello Barracks. Officers most commonly carried C96 Broom Handle mauser pistols and Countess Marcivictz is also photographes with a Webly ans Scot Long barrelled .45 revolver, though she used a mauser pistol in the rising itself. Officers would have used a variety of revolvers including colts and automatic pistols such as luger 9mm parabellums smuggled in from Germany.

Unlike Cumann Na m-Bann whose duties were usualy restricted to more traditional sexist roles of cooking, first aid and despatch carrying the women of the ICA carried weapons and were of equal rank with the men. Margret Skinnider an ICA member from Scotland and Countess Marcivictz both fought in the front line with rifle and revolver.

Flags
the Citizen Army carried a "Plough And The Stars" of "Starry Plough" flag It was a bluey-green field with an image of a plough in yellow, with a sword as a ploughshare that had the big dipper/ ursa major constellation of seven eight pointed silver stars imposed on it. The plainer starry plough of a plain blue field with seven five pointed stars still used by the Irish left was not used by the ICA until it was reformed by the Republican Congress in the 1930's
The origional Starry Plough was flown from the imperial hotel in O Connell St. during the Rising. On St. Patricks day 1916 the ICA hoisted a plain green flag with a golden or yellow harp over liberty hall. The remnants of this are on display in Collins Barracks. A scroll was also unveiled across the front of Liberty Hall in 1914 after the outbreak of WW1 which read "We serve neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland!"

Final Note
Unlike the Irish Volunteers who were mostly Catholic (with notable exceptions Bulmer Hobson etc...) a fairly large section of the ICA were of minority religions. Marcivictz was Protestant as were Jack White and Dr. kathleen Lynne. Jack White later declared himself an Atheist and embraced Anarchisim during the Spanish Civil war. The first casulty of the 1916 rising was Abraham Weeks, attached to the G.P.O. Garrison (See Manus O Riordan - James Connolly, Liberty Hall and the 1916 Rising) Weeks was an English Jew and member of the International Workers of the World Union who came to Dublin from London in 1916 to avoid conscription to the British Army and to join the ICA.

Photos

Citizen Army Group Firing
Image

The photos arent the greatest quality but you can click on them to enlarge. This photo shows two ordinary ICA members armed with rifles the one closer to the camers has the more typical mauser rifle. The captain kneeling and pointing is armed with a C96 broom handle mauser and is the group leader (female) closest to the camera. Note also she has a feathered hat similar to marcivictz and wears the 'scrolled' ICA letters on her collar not the Block ICA letters on the epaluttes worn by the others. She also has the officers Slade wallace pattern belt and is the only one wearing putees.




Citizen Army Captain firing C96 Broomhandle Mauser Pistol
Image

This is a Citizen Army Captain or NCO firing a Broom handled mauser. The weapons wooden holster could be fixed to the guns handle and used as a stock transforming the weapon into a carabine. If you enlarge the inage you can clearly see the red hand ITGWU badge used to pin up the hat and the block letter ICA shoulder title



Two Members of ICA
Image

The Captain on the left had his mauser in the wooden holster, and though he does not have the brass diamond shaped rank marking fixed to his epaluttes, the fact that his "Snake S" buckle type strap in the style of a sam browne and that he has a pistol rather than a rifle shows he is of senior rank. The Ordinary member wears the black bandolier and his belt does not have a cross strap. the white linen ammunition and kit bags are worn on opposite sides because of the ICA Captains cross strap and mauser holster - more normaly it would be worn in the fashion of the ordinary ICA member. These are old RUC uniforms that have been bought and doctored for the purpose at E 4o for tunic and trousers - not a small fortune! in re-enactment terms


Captain Jack White and Irish Citizen Army at Croydon House Dublin
Image

You can see how well armed and uniformed the ICA realy were from this. The officer on the right closest to the camera is captain Jack White a vetern of the Boer war with the British army. The sword he is carrying is a British Army officers sword




Citizen Army on Roof of Liberty Hall
Image

The men in uniforms are armed with mauser rifles - the most common weapon in the ICA. The uniformed man in the centre has the red hand badge clearly visible pinning up the side of his cap. The man standing behind with the revolver in civilian clothes is also a member of the force. Again if E4o is beyond your budget for a uniform civilian clothes courdruoy, tweed or even an old suit from oxfam with the addition of a made up ICA blue or red armband is cheaper still and perfectly accurate.


Origional Citizen Army Button
Image

Taken from a womens ICA uniform in a private collection, note the dark green rough tweed matierial rather than the serge used in the mens tunics. The camera flash had brightened the colour but trust me its dark green. Im reproducing these buttons if anyone needs them other wise modern leather buttons are acceptable and cost little.




Countess Marcivictz in Officers Uniform
Image

Note she is wearing an officers slade wallace belt, and if the resolution is good you can see the officers collar badges. This was Malins old uniform mentioned above. Photo taken about one week before the Rising.


Countess Marcivictz in ICA Boy Scouts Uniform
Image

This photo was taken circa 1917 -1918 note how imprisionment and hungerstrike have worn on the countesses face, the wrinkles, blackened and broken teath and grey hair were all touched up when the photo was used to promote her for election. Compare to the above photo. Shows what these people realy went through for our freedoms? All the more reason why if we are going to re-enact the period we should do their memory justice. Any way she is wearing the ICA Boy Scouts uniform - quite similar in design to the Fianna Eireann one.


So thats it for now - from this on there are no excuses for getting your kit and speel on the ICA wrong. Im ready and willing to help out anyone who needs a hand with their ICA kit. But this guide took me a lot of time and effort to put together so ill not be tolerating sloppy kit for much longer. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

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Last edited by bannerman on Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:50 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby Irish-American on Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:03 pm

Wow grea resource. thanks. I'm guessing the rifles are kar98?
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby bannerman on Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:17 pm

Sory Ive been posting and editing this repeatedly over the last two -three hours as it was very hard to get the pictures up in one piece. Yes I believe some of the models used were C98's but other types of mauser rifle were used as well. im realy more of a historian than a "gun nut" so youll have to make up you own mind which model they are based on the photos. I hope to put one of these up every few weeks to get everyones 1916 kit up to standard.

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Last edited by bannerman on Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby Irish-American on Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:33 pm

What's the major diffence betewn the IV and CA? Bit confused :|
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby bannerman on Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:52 pm

The Irish Volunteers were founded as a militant pressure group to make sure that the British Government Granted Home Rule to Ireland. They were secretly controlled by The Irish Republican Brotherhood a secret society that were planning an open rebellion against British rule to establish an Independent republic. Once Ireland was free from British rule the majority of them would have been satisfied

The Irish Citizens army were a socialist or communist and republican group who were not controled by the IRB. Although Connolly did later work wit them in organising the rising later. They not only sought an independent Irish Republic, but a Workers Republic after Irelands freedom was won they wanted freedom for the workers, and a re-organiseation of Irish society along socialist lines to break the stranglehold of the Catholic Church on Ireland, to smash the power of exploitative bosses and capatalist landlords

There were also big differences between the two groups in their treatment of women. The IV did not allow women members so those women who wanted to support the IV had to form Cumann Na Mbann a seperate Womens Auxialliary along similar lines. Whereas The ICA allowed women as full members and they also held rank over the men in some cases ie Countess Marcivictz who was second in command over the St. stephens Green garrison in 1916.

Perhaps James Connoly best expressed the dirrerences between the IV's nationalism & republicanism and the ICA's socialist republicanism when he said. "If you remove the English garrison tomorrow and raise the green flag over Dublin Castle unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic all your efforts will have been in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capatilists, through her landlords, through her fananciers through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country."

He also said "The cause of Ireland is the cause of Labour, The cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland."

This conflict between right and left wing Irish republicanism is one of the central themes in Ken Loaches film "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" which is a must see if you are going to start re-enacting the period.

Does that explain it?
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby Irish-American on Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:58 pm

Indeed it does. Maybe you did already (I could have missed them) but a link as wear you could finf good gear might be nice. I just hope my lads might be interested.
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby Na Fianna Éireann on Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:58 pm

Irish-American wrote:Wow grea resource. thanks. I'm guessing the rifles are kar98?


no the k98 was not in use , the rifle you are perhaps talking about is the g98 as the k98 means karbine a smaller calvary version of the g98, these weapons were smuggled in on board u boats and other ships and on a regular basis turn up in peoples houses.
Na Fianna Éireann Fíor inár gCroíthe Neart inár Láimhe Comhsheasmhacht inár dTeanga.
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby Irish-American on Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:25 pm

Learn something new everyday. I know this more kit but links to anything regarding repro uniforms, guns and training would make me happy.
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby bannerman on Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:20 pm

For badges try on e-bay both Cyril Wall and Gary O Brien trade replica badges there. Closer to your home try Tom Butler he makes badges as far as Im aware. He is a friend of Bob Mc Donough whos e-mail I gave you earlier.

Its good to see that you are so enthousiastic about the period - but learn as much as you can about it before you actualy start re-enacting it. Irish history is very long and complicated and still very emotive depending on who you are talking to.

I am going to recomend two books to you above all else

"The Celtic Revolution" by Peter Berresford Ellis its published by "Y Llofa Press" In Wales and has a brilliant section on Irish history read it over and over if you can. That will give you the basis of the history.

For kit get ""The Irish Civil War" by tim Pat Coogan and George Morrison it has hundreds of photos of the period and should be every 1916 re-enactors bible.

If you are feeling brave and up for a third book read "Guerilla Days in Ireland" by Tom Barry

For movies I would recommend the "Wind That Shakes the Barley" mentioned above and "Michael Collins" collins is more the hollywood style of film and has glaring historical innacuracies but for a beginner its a good starting point.

Keep reading, reading, reading and when you have queries keep coming back here for advice.

Padraig
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby Irish-American on Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:49 pm

Like I said, its just an idea at this point. I just shot an email over to my American Civil War commander and I'm waiting to see if he has fire for it. I live in a very what I call "Irish no nothing" (people who are Irish-Americans but no nothing of Ireland at all..) and I'm not even sure if theier would be any interest or money. Gah! Starting units is work, And plus I'll just be starting college in spring so who knows if I'll have time.
For the record I have both of movies you mentioned on DVD. I will agree that MC has flaws but I think its more for entertainment and to maybe spur interest. Kind of like the American Civil War movie Glory was a thrust into the right direction and later came Gettysburg. (which is the most accurate civil War movie to date) so, I think the wind that shakes the barley an Irish Gettysburg
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