Unionist Gun Running at Larne

On the night of the 24th April 1914, 14 vehicles set off in great secrecy to Larne Harbour to pick up a shipment of guns landed from Hamburg. Of the 30,000 rifles to be landed that night, 1000 had been allocated to the North Antrim regiments of the UVF.

Those supplying cars to collect the arms included the Reverend Clarke of Connor, the Young family from Galgorm Castle, the Wilson family of Raceview amongst others. Kane’s Foundry in Ballymena supplied a lorry which carried 125 rifles and ammunition back to Moorfields. The night time operation was a success and the guns and ammunition were distributed throughout Ulster.

 "…although the majority of policemen were Catholics and felt no love for the unionist project, there is some evidence that senior officers in County Antrim with a Protestant affiliation were not only quite willing to tolerate but also to assist the gun-running. Head Constable John McKenna...would later report that his District Inspector in the town was “walking about the harbour that night, smoking". - New Perspectives p119


Image courtesy of Mr Alan Stewart

UVF Motor Corps Badge

Why do you think the drivers of the vehicles involved in the gun running were supplied with a special badge?