The History

James Connolly (1868-1916)

Born in Edinburgh, June 5th, 1868, Connolly first went to Ireland as a fourteen year old member of the British Army. He married in Scotland where he became involved in Socialism. In 1896 he moved to Dublin where he founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party and also started a newspaper the Workers’ Republic. He spent seven years in America where he lectured and organized. He was an organizer for the Wobblies in the New York area.

Connolly returned to Ireland in 1910 and campaigned for the Socialist Party. Jim Larkin appointed him as Ulster Organiser for the ITGWU in Belfast but in 1913 he came back to Dublin to help during the Lockout. Connolly was one of the founders of the Irish Citizen Army. Throughout his life he wrote and published extensively on Irish and socialist issues. Tom Clarke was always sure to include Connolly and the ICA in any IRB or Volunteer celebrations, e.g. Rossa’s funeral in 1915 or the Wolfe Tone commemoration.

During the Easter Rising he was appointed Commandant-General of the Dublin brigade, directing the Army of the Irish Republic in the GPO. Badly wounded in two separate incidents Connolly was executed strapped to a chair on 12th May 1916.
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