Organisers of an upcoming research project hope to shine a light on the part played in the First World War by men from Lisburn’s Catholic community.
Backed by local SDLP Councillor Pat Catney and organised by the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum, the project will
get under way in earnest on February 2 with an exploratory meeting for anyone interested in getting involved.
The contribution to the war effort of Lisburn’s protestant population is, say project organisers, well understood and commemorated, the role of the town’s Catholics,less so.
In December 1917 the Lisburn Standard published a list of some 61 men, connected to St Patrick’s Catholic Church in town, of whom 37 were said to have fallen, eight were reported missing and 16 had been taken prisoner. They were named in a ‘roll of honour’ alongside the dead or missing from Lisburn’s other churches.
Inasmuch as the Great War affected the whole of Lisburn and had far-reaching consequences for townspeople of all denominations, the research project aims to better understand the part played by St Patrick’s parishioners.
A spokesperson said: “This project will explore the Catholic men and their backgrounds. the regiments they fought in, the places they served and died in, or, indeed, the post-war experiences of those who survived.
“If you have a local or family story to tell, or are interested in exploring this topic, then the museum would be delighted to hear from you.”
St Patrick’s Parish Centre will host the exploratory meeting on February 2 at 7pm.
The event will feature a talk on ‘Lisburn Catholics and the Great War’ by the museum’s Curator, Brian Mackey, and Research Officer Ciaran Toal.
Going forward, it is anticipated material from the project will be featured in the forthcoming exhibition: ‘Lisburn, 1912-22’.
To register interest, or for more information, visit the museum’s dedicated mini-site at http://www.lisburnmuseum.com/lisburn-catholics-and-the-great-war.