Home Rule era pipe found in Derry field

Thie piece of broken pipe - possibly dating from the Home Rule/Ulster Covenant period - was discovered in a field near Kilfennan.
Thie piece of broken pipe - possibly dating from the Home Rule/Ulster Covenant period - was discovered in a field near Kilfennan.

This pipe bowl - thought to be at least 100 years old - has been discovered by local historian Mark Lusby.

Mark literally stumbled across the historic item - possibly dating from the time of the Home Rule/Ulster Covenant period (1912) - while walking in a field near Kilfennan.

He told the ‘Journal’: “As a child living on a farm, one of our summer treats was gathering stones from the barley fields so that they did not damage the harvester blades later in the year.

“To pass the time, we used to collect pottery and other rubbish from previous generations thrown up by the plough.

“I found this pipe bowl in a field at Crescent Link where a new hotel is under construction.

“I assume it dates from the time of the Home Rule/Ulster Covenant debate. An example, perhaps, of a local farm worker displaying his views on the pipe he was smoking.”

One hundred years ago this month, thousands of Unionists signed the Ulster Covenant, a pledge to reject Westminster’s attempts to establish a Home Rule parliament for Ireland in Dublin.

It was an oath whereby the Protestant people of Ulster, the northern most province of Ireland, pledged to defend their way of life from the perceived growing threat of ‘Home Rule’ - a devolved parliament in Dublin.

A huge public movement was mobilised in defiance of the British government, which wished to impose Home Rule, as the United Kingdom was brought to the brink of civil war.