|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
History of Irish Vegetarian
In 1878 a Belfast Vegetarian Association was formed as a branch of the Vegetarian Society based in Manchester, England. There were further reports in the Vegetarian Messenger in subsequent issues, but this group appears to have closed after a few years.
By 1890 there was a Dublin Vegetarian Society, mentioned early that year in the Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester) in a way that implied it had been in existence for some time, but with no indication of whether this was an independent group, or another branch (the whole of Ireland was still under British rule at that time so Dublin could have been a branch of the society in Manchester).
The Irish Vegetarian Union was founded in March 1890, and based in Belfast.
This appears to have been at the instigation of the London Vegetarian
Society but the IVU was independent of either society in England.
On September 10th, 1890, (reports vary) a meeting of the Vegetarian Federal Union (based in London) accepted the Irish Vegetarian Union as a member.
The October 11 and 18, 1890, issues of The Vegetarian (London) listed events organised by the Belfast Vegetarian Society and the November 8 issue listed events by the Dublin Vegetarian Society, The Belfast Vegetarian Society, and the Irish Vegetarian Union. Though no further explanation of all these groups was given, but a report from the Irish Vegetarian Union in December 1890 (as well as that linked above) suggests that it was a society of individual members in Belfast, not a Union of the other two.
From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), July 1893, p269:
From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), July 1895, p224:
From the Vegetarian Federal Union annual report, 1897:
At the first International Vegetarian Union Congress in Dresden, Germany, 1908, there were letters of support from many Vegetarian Societies around the world, but no mention of Ireland.
The next information currently available is from the March 1910 issue of the Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester):
In the April issue of the Vegetarian Messenger a letter from a committee member in Dublin refers to the Irish Vegetarian Society, rather than 'Union'. A report in the January 1911 issue also describes it as a 'Society'. It is possible that the name was changed to avoid it being called 'IVU' - that would not have been a problem before 1908... the Secretary who visited Dublin and Belfast, above, was Albert Broadbent who was on the (International) IVU committee at that time.
The February 1912 issue of the Vegetarian Messenger refers to the Irish Vegetarian Society as having been formed in 1901. It is also possible that there were separate societies in Dublin and Belfast, joined by the Irish Veg. Union, or that the first society closed and this was a new one.
The reports on the IVU Congresses for 1923, 26, 29, 32 and 35 make no mention of Ireland.
The report from the 1938 Congress, in Norway includes: "Apologies for absence and expressions of good wishes were read from ... Mr. W. D. Cousins (Northern Ireland) ... " . We do not know which Society Mr Cousins represented.
The report from the 1947 IVU Congress, at Stonehouse, England, mentions: "Messages of good wishes to the Congress were also received from ... the Irish Vegetarian Society "... " The business included reports from representatives of Societies affiliated to the I.V.U., and were given by ... Mr. Howell Ritson (Ireland), ..." [one session at the Congress was chaired by Mr Howell Ritson, described there as 'Northern Ireland']
The photo on the right is from a group of 'overseas delegates' at the 1947 Congress. The caption says she was 'Miss Moira Henry (Eire)', we are not told which society she represented but later reports clarify that she was Secretary of the Dublin V.S.
From the Vegetarian World Forum, Summer 1948 pp.35-38:
- we have no record of when the Dublin V.S. was formed.
The reports from the 1950 IVU Congress make no mention of Ireland. The next reference currently available is in the minutes of the IVU Executive Committee, Easter 1952: "It was decided to decline an invitation from the Dublin Vegetarian Society to hold the 1956 Congress in Kellarney, Ireland."
1958 - The Vegetarian World Forum, July 1958, carried a complete list of IVU " Affiliated Societies - and others in association with the I.V.U." These included: Dublin V. S., Mrs. F. Gourlay, 32 Sandycove Rd., Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Eire.
The present Vegetarian Society of Ireland was founded in 1978 by Christopher
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