Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New DVD: "The Story of Ulster's Solemn League & Covenant" by Twelve Stones Media: £10.00 + £2.00 p&p


Nowadays people don't read much, usually because they can't be bothered. The printed page is not pored over as it was in previous generations - video is our medium of choice today. Even though they wouldn't read for an hour, people are more than happy to watch a screen for hours on end.

This new 1hr DVD - "The Story of Ulster's Solemn League & Covenant" takes the viewer through the 1800s and 1900s, from the Act of Union of 1801 right up to Ulster Day of 28 September 1912, explaining the events which shaped the hearts and minds of the 471,000 people who signed the Covenant that day.

Historical illustrations and photographs are interspersed with four interviews - Dr Fraser Agnew, Nelson McCausland MLA, Dr David Hume and myself. I must confess that the political complexity of the three Home Rule crises often makes me glaze over, but not this time, the story is told clearly without getting bogged down in obscurities. There are some fascinating insights into parts of the Ulster Covenant story which are often never told including how new Vatican policies of the time and public statements by Catholic church leaders confirmed to Ulster Protestants that their worst fears were not just hypothetical - 'Home Rule' would indeed be 'Rome Rule', as the slogan of the time warned. It also talks about Rev J B Armour, the pro-Home Rule Presbyterian minister, and of how land reform also played a part in the popular opinions of the time. A poignant story is of those Ulster people in counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, who signed the Covenant as a bond of solidarity but who found themselves abandoned when the border was drawn and Ireland was partitioned.

The parts which I contribute are relatively 'soft', (filmed at Donaghadee on a cold grey February morning) explaining something of the earlier Scottish Covenants, the 1644 Solemn League and Covenant in Ulster, the awareness of the Covenanters' in late 1800s and early 1900s Ulster, and of my great grandfather who signed the Ulster Covenant in Troon in Ayrshire.

I can't praise this DVD highly enough, and can thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to find out more about these emotive, historic times. I hope other 'professional' broadcast television producers can match the standard of high quality, informative content which has been set here.

> The DVD is available through the Twelve Stones Media eBay store for £10.00 + £2.00 postage and packing. Click here.