Pronunciation: [lˈɑːn ɡˈʌnɹʌnɪŋ] (IPA)

The spelling of the phrase "Larne gunrunning" depends on various factors, including regional dialect and English pronunciation rules. In IPA phonetic transcription, the word "Larne" is pronounced /lɑːrn/, with the stress on the first syllable. "Gunrunning" is transcribed as /ˈɡʌnˌrʌnɪŋ/, with the primary stress on the first syllable and the secondary stress on the third syllable. This phrase refers to the shipment of weapons to Irish nationalists at the port of Larne, Northern Ireland in 1914.

LARNE GUNRUNNING Meaning and Definition

  1. Larne Gunrunning refers to a significant event in Irish history that occurred in 1914. It involved the illegal smuggling and transportation of weapons and ammunition from Germany to Ireland during a period of political tension and rising hostilities leading up to World War I. The term specifically relates to the clandestine operation that took place in the coastal town of Larne in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

    During this time, a group of Irish nationalists who opposed British rule sought to arm themselves in preparation for potential conflict. They successfully organized the purchase of weapons from Germany, and in the early hours of April 24th, 1914, a group of around 25 ships sailed from Larne to rendezvous with a German vessel in the North Sea. These ships, known as the "Larne Gun-running fleet," transported approximately 25,000 rifles, machine guns, and millions of rounds of ammunition.

    The operation aimed to enhance the supply of firearms to nationalist groups such as the Irish Volunteers, who sought to secure Irish independence from British rule. However, the British government and authorities were aware of these activities and attempted to intercept the arms shipment, but ultimately failed to halt the operation.

    The Larne Gunrunning event is considered a significant episode in the lead-up to the Irish War of Independence and is often cited as a turning point in Irish history. It contributed to the escalation of tensions between Britain and Irish nationalists and ultimately influenced the path towards the establishment of an independent Irish state.


The phrase "Larne gunrunning" refers to a historical event known as the Larne gun-running that occurred in 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I. It involved the smuggling of a large cache of firearms and ammunition to Ulster, Northern Ireland. The etymology of the phrase breaks down into two components: "Larne" and "gunrunning".

1. Larne:

Larne is a seaport and industrial town located on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It played a significant role in the gun-running event, serving as the main landing point for the weapons that were illegally imported.

2. Gunrunning:

The term "gunrunning" refers to the act of smuggling or illegally transporting firearms and ammunition, usually for military or paramilitary purposes. In this context, it denotes the secret transportation of weapons to Ulster in defiance of the authorities' regulations at the time.