Lisburn_Catholics_Great_war_ww1_research_Project_St_PatricksLisburn Catholics and the Great War Research Project

 Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum

In December 1917 the Lisburn Standard published a list of 61 parishioners from, or connected to, St Patrick’s Catholic Church who had fallen (37), were missing (8), or taken prisoner (16) during the Great War.  These men were listed alongside the dead or missing from Lisburn’s other churches in a ‘roll of honour’.  The war, what one poet described as ‘the hell where youth and laughter go’, affected the whole town, and had far-reaching consequences for the townspeople, irrespective of denomination.

The contribution of Lisburn’s protestant population to the war effort is well understood and commemorated, yet the role the town’s Catholics played is less so.  To correct this, and to better understand the part played by St Patrick’s parishioners, a research project is proposed.  This project will explore the Catholic men and their lives: 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 we would be delighted to hear from you.  The museum will be holding an exploratory meeting on February 2nd 2015 at St Patrick’s Parish Centre at 7pm for those interested in getting involved.  This will include a talk on ‘Lisburn Catholics and the Great War’ by the museum’s Curator Brian Mackey and Research Officer Ciaran Toal.  It is anticipated that material from the project will be featured in the forthcoming exhibition: ‘Lisburn, 1912-22’.

The project is supported by Councillor Pat Catney.  For more information or to register interest please contact Dr Ciaran Toal, Lisburn Museum.


Our new website has launched.  Please visit Lisburn Catholics & the Great War Database




Further Reading:

Brian Mackey, Lisburn: the town and its people, 1873-1973. Belfast, Blackstaff, (2000).

Pearse Lawlor, Lisburn: A History of the Catholic Community of the Parish of Blaris,  Clovercorry (2014).