- 1905 Irish Presbyterian
... 'It is believed that the originator of this somewhat erratic development was a Scotchman called Irwin, who at an early stage of this work enlisted the sympathy and help of an earnest young man, a native of Enniskillen, Mr. Edward Cooney, formerly an Episcopalian, who devoted himself to evangelistic work in various parts of Ireland, and a member of a most respectabe family, ....'
- 1906 June 21
Impartial Reporter: Quote of Wilson McClung (early worker)] 'And who are ‘we?’ ‘We have no name,’ he replied, ‘but the ribald multitude give us many. Some call us Cooneyites, some call us Tramps, Faith Missionaries, No Secters, Women-Thieves, and so on. Well, we are Cooneyites. We are also McClungites, for Cooney is no greater than I. We have no established leader in this world. ‘Our mission was started by William Irwin, a Scotchman, seven or eight years ago. Others followed him. I myself was a Civil Servant in Dublin. I resigned my post, sold all that I had and gave to the poor, and went out to preach. 'Our mission was started by William Irwin, a Scotsman, seven or eight years ago. Others followed him.......'
- 1910 August 25 pg 2
' Change of doctrine has made things different for many, especially for those who were not originally converts of Mr. Wm. Irvine or Mr. Edward Cooney, because unless you hear or believe through a Tramp Preacher, they say there can be no possibility of spiritual, divine life, past, present or future. It is immaterial how definite your aspirations or what quickening towards God may have been wrought in your heart or soul previously. So that in other words, derivative or ancestral Christianity is now re-established by William Irvine and Edward Cooney only.....'
- 1910 August 25 pg1 WI Founder
- 1910 August 25 pg1
Impartial Reporter page 1: Wm. Irvine, the founder and supreme authority of what is known as Cooneyism, is a Scotchman. His native place is Kilsyth, a small town near Glasgow. Before he became a Tramp he had attached himself to the sect know an the Faith Mission or Pilgrims, and was the manager of a coal mine under Baird & Co., Glasgow, and enjoyed a salary of £300 a year. William Irvine left this employment and joined the Faith Mission, under the control then of J. G. Govan, of Rothsay, who still holds conventions after the manner followed at Crocknacrieve, but on a much smaller scale.
- 1910 July 5
Cooneyite Convention The Cooneyite "Dippers" or "Tramp Preachers" have just opened a Convention at Crocknacrieve, the residence of Mr. John West, near Enniskillen......... Mr. Wm. Irvine, the founder of the sect, is in attendance and Mr. Edward Cooney, his chief lieutenant, is returning from canada to take part in the deliberations.... '
- 1910 July 7
...'Over one thousand "Cooneyites" from all parts of Ireland and from England and Scotland, have assembled to hold their annual Convention, and delegates from New Zealand, Australia, America and Canada are expected to arrive in a few days.... Nearly all the 'visitors wear black dresses and plain sailer hats. Services are held daily, and the principal preacher is Mr. Wm. Irvine, one of the founders of the sect, who was formerly and engineer in Scotland. Mr. Edward, the son of a wealthy Fermanagh merchant, who joined the sect some years ago, and who for the past four months has been preaching the new doctrine in Canada is expected to arrive at Crockaecrieve before the convention closes. At each service two or three members of the sect relate the story of their "conversion" and renounce their former religious associations. The "Pilgrims" do not believe in any of the Christian churches and at the principal meetings clergymen of all denominations are vigorously denounced......
- 1913 Dec. 18
Impartial Reporter: They were both members of a community known as the ‘Go-preachers,’ who took this name from Scripture, in which the apostles were exhorted to go forth and preach to all the world. Mr. Cooney was one of the pioneers or founders of the community, and the libel was headed ‘The Cooneyites.' Mr. List complained that he was described as a ‘Bishop’ in the sect. Mr. Edward Cooney also gave evidence that the statement complained of was untrue. Mr. Justice Darling—Were you the founder of this sect?—No, William Irvine was the first, about sixteen years ago. I cast in my lot with him as a fellow-preacher, and preached a good deal in the north of Ireland. I recognise the name, but others have nicknamed us ‘The Cooneyites.’ I do not like it myself.
- 1913 July 3 highlited
- 1913 July 3
Impartial Reporter: The annual Convention for the ‘Pilgrim’ community was opened on Sunday at Crocknacrieve, the residence of Mr. John West, near Ballinamallard. In the absence of Mr. Wm. Irvine, founder of the Pilgrims, the Convention was opened by Mr. Edward Cooney, formerly of Enniskillen.
- 1913 July 17
Impartial Reporter: William Irvine, one of the founders of the Go-Preachers’ Society, said it was Protestant evangelical. Its tenets containing nothing relating to the sexes that was different from the teaching of other denominations.
- 1913 July 31
- 1913 July 31
Impartial Reporter: The closing scene at the meeting in the gloaming was impressive. All the arrangements had been made for the departure of the ‘preachers’ to different parts of the world, and it only remained for the Go-Preachers’ founder to give to all the last words of counsel and farewell. Mr. Irvine dealt mainly with the duty of those in fellowship towards one another and towards the outside world.
- 1917 Heresies Exposed
From Book "Heresies Exposed" compiled by W C. Irvine, published by Loizeaux Bros, Inc, Bible Truth Depot, Neptune NJ. First edition: 1917; several additional editions since. "The originator of this new cult was a Mr. William Weir Irvine, a Scotchman, who went to Ireland about fifty years ago as a preacher in connection with the Faith Mission. He subsequently left them and started an independent Mission on his own at a town called Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, where he found a few hearty people who had recently been converted. These he succeeded in gathering round himself and they became the nucleus of this new sect."
- 1917 July 13
(Ideas July 13, 1917) One of the most remarkable religious sects of our day is that of the 'Tramp Preachers", otherwise known as the "Cooneyites"", who have suddenly sprung into prominence during the last 15 years...... Their founder was really a Mr. William Irvine, who lived near Enniskillen, and his doctrines, of course, do not differ essentially from those of the various heretical millenarian sects which have arisen in the history of Christianity.
- 1917 July 19
Impartial Reporter: Their founder was really a Mr. William Irvine, who lived near Enniskillen, and his doctrines, of course, do not differ essentially from those of the various heretical millenarian sects which have arisen in the history of Christianity.
- 1931 July 9 p1
Impartial Reporter .... At the morning meeting, which continued for almost three hours, the principal speaker was George Walker, a native of the Co. district of Fermanagh. ‘George,’ as he is called by everyone—not even the leaders get the courtesy title ‘Mister’—is a polished speaker, of refined appearance. As a young man, when in the late Mr. W. R. Cooney’s establishment in Enniskillen, he was a good looking youth and he has preserved his good looks. His address was learned, interesting, and full of force. He was in the place once occupied by Wm. Irvine, the pioneer of this great movement, a man of magnetic power, rugged, a strong personality, a forceful speaker, and at one time worshipped as a leader of men and women. George Walker spends most of his time in America, but has not got the American twang. He will shortly visit the Continent. He has a charming manner.
- 1931 July 9 p2
Impartial Reporter July 9, 1931 Page 2 - continued from page 1