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Bulmer Hobson (1882 - 1969) was a leading member of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) before the Easter Rising in 1916. Hobson was a socialist and journalist with close connections to James Connolly.
Hobson was one of the founding members of the Volunteers, and served as their secretery before the Rising. He was a protegé of veteran Fenian Tom Clarke, with whom he had a close, almost father-son realtionship until 1914. As a member of the Volunteers provisional council, Hobson was instrumental in allowing Parliamentary leader John Redmond to gain undue influence in the Volunteers organisation. Though he was against this in theory, he gave in, believing that defying Redmond (who was highly popular throughout Ireland) would lead to the demsie of the Volunteers. Clarke, steadfastly opposed to this action, never forgave him or spoke to him again. Hobson resigned as a member of the Supreme Council of the IRB, and was fired from his job as Dublin correspondent for the newspaper the Gaelic American, leaving him in financial straits.
Though he remained a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood he was not informed of the plans for the Rising at Easter, 1916. He remained opposed to such an action, believing it was contrary to the stated purpose of the Volunteers (to whom he had as much loyalty as the decidedly more radical IRB), particularly as it stood no real chance of success. He nevertheless was able to figure out what was being planned, and he subsequently alerted Volunteers chief-of-staff Eoin MacNeill about what the IRB up to. MacNeill issued a countermanding order, so ensuring the rising, while in the views of Irish republicans was heroic, was an even greater military fiasco. Hobson was kidnapped by the organisers of the rising to stop him from spreading news of MacNeill's order, being held in a safehouse in Phibsborough until the Rising was well underway.
Though he had been one of the most active members of the IRB for years, being largely responsible for the re-emrgence of the organisation, and was instrumental in the founding of the Volunteers, Hobson did not involve himself in politics after the Rising.
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