James Connolly (1868 - 1916):
Socialist and Irish revolutionary
James Connolly was born in Edinburgh of County Monaghan parents and was self-educated. When he was twenty-seven he moved to Ireland, where he became a leading member of the Irish trade union movement. He was resident in Belfast from 1910 to 1914 as organiser for the Irish Transport Workers' Union. Although much of his writing was historical and political such as Erin's Hope; The End and the Means and Labour in Irish History, he wrote a play Under Which Flag? and a number of poems. He also established trade union journals: The Harp; The Irish Worker and The Worker's Republic and was renowned as both a journalist and a public speaker. In 1896 he founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party and during a seven-year stay in America he was an organiser for the Industrial Workers of the World. In 1912 and 1913 he was involved, with James Larkin, in establishing an Irish Labour Party: the Congress Party. During the lock-out of 1913 to 1914, he joined Larkin in Dublin and in 1914 organised the Citizen Army. He was appointed military commander of the republican forces in Dublin, took a leading role in the 1916 Easter Rising, and was subsequently executed. [Biography by Samuel Levenson].
||5 June 1868
||12 May 1916