James Connolly
Overview
James Connolly was an Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 republican
Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 and socialist leader. He was born in the Cowgate
Cowgate
The Cowgate is a street in Edinburgh, Scotland, located about 5 minutes' walk from Edinburgh Castle, within the city's World Heritage Site. The street's name is derived from the fact that cows were herded down it for Edinburgh's market days in previous centuries .The street is part of the lower...

 area of Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, Scotland, to Irish immigrant parents and spoke with a Scottish accent throughout his life. He left school for working life at the age of 11, but became one of the leading Marxist theorists of his day. He also took a role in Scottish and American politics
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. He was executed by a British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 firing squad because of his leadership role in the Easter Rising
Easter Rising
The Easter Rising was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War...

 of 1916.
Connolly was born in an Irish slum in Edinburgh in 1868.
Quotations

Yes, friends, governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class.

Irish Worker (socialist newspaper) 29 August, 1915. Reprinted in P. Beresford Ellis (ed.), "James Connolly - Selected Writings", p. 248.

'Those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword' say the Scriptures, and it may well be that in the progress of events the working class of Ireland may be called upon to face the stern necessity of taking the sword (or rifle) against the [English capitalist] class..."

The Worker (socialist newspaper) 30 January, 1915. Reprinted in P. Beresford Ellis (ed.), "James Connolly - Selected Writings", p. 210.

Under a socialist system every nation will be the supreme arbiter of its own destinies, national and international; will be forced into no alliance against its will, but will have its independence guaranteed and its freedom respected by the enlightened self-interest of the socialist democracy of the world.

Samuel Levenson, "James Connolly" (Martin, Brian and O'Keeffe, London, 1973), p. 56.

Such a scheme .. the betrayal of the national democracy of Industrial Ulster, would mean a carnival of reaction both North and South, would set back the wheels of progress, would destroy the oncoming unity of the Irish labour movement and paralyse all advanced movements while it lasted.

P. Beresford Ellis (ed.), "James Connolly - Selected Writings", p. 275.

The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour.

Workers' Republic (socialist newspaper) 8 April, 1916. Reprinted in P. Beresford Ellis (ed.), "James Connolly - Selected Writings", p. 145.

Encyclopedia
James Connolly was an Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 republican
Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 and socialist leader. He was born in the Cowgate
Cowgate
The Cowgate is a street in Edinburgh, Scotland, located about 5 minutes' walk from Edinburgh Castle, within the city's World Heritage Site. The street's name is derived from the fact that cows were herded down it for Edinburgh's market days in previous centuries .The street is part of the lower...

 area of Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, Scotland, to Irish immigrant parents and spoke with a Scottish accent throughout his life. He left school for working life at the age of 11, but became one of the leading Marxist theorists of his day. He also took a role in Scottish and American politics
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. He was executed by a British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 firing squad because of his leadership role in the Easter Rising
Easter Rising
The Easter Rising was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War...

 of 1916.

Early life

Connolly was born in an Irish slum in Edinburgh in 1868. His parents had emigrated to Scotland from Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

 and settled in the Cowgate, an Irish ghetto where thousands of Irish settled.

He was born in St Patrick's Roman Catholic parish, which was known as "Little Ireland". His family came from the lowest ranks of rural Ireland. His father and grandfathers were labourers. He had an education up to the age of about ten in the local Catholic primary school. He then left and worked in labouring jobs. Because of the economic difficulties he was having, like his eldest brother John, he joined the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

.

He enlisted in the Army at age 14, falsifying his age and giving his name as Reid, as his brother John had done. He served in Ireland with the Army for nearly seven years. It was a very turbulent period in rural Ireland. He would later become involved in the land issue.

It was an influential period in his life. He saw first hand how unjust the system was, and the British Army was there to enforce this. He developed a deep hatred for the British Army that lasted his entire life. When he heard the regiment was being transferred to India, he deserted the army.

Connolly had another reason for not wanting to go to India: a young woman by the name of Lillie Reynolds
Lillie Connolly
Lillie Connolly née Reynolds, was born in County Wicklow, a Protestant. She met James Connolly while the latter was serving in the British Army in Ireland. She was working as a domestic servant in Dublin. They were engaged in 1888 and the following years Connolly discharged himself from the British...

. Lillie moved to Scotland with James after he left the Army and they married in April 1890. They settled in Edinburgh. There, Connolly began to get involved in the Socialist Movement
Scottish Socialist Federation
The Scottish Socialist Federation was a Scottish political party founded by supporters of the Social Democratic Federation in Edinburgh in December 1888....

, but with a young family to support, he needed a way to provide for them.

He briefly established a cobbler's
Shoemaking
Shoemaking is the process of making footwear. Originally, shoes were made one at a time by hand. Traditional handicraft shoemaking has now been largely superseded in volume of shoes produced by industrial mass production of footwear, but not necessarily in quality, attention to detail, or...

 shop in 1895, but this failed after a few months as his shoe-mending skills were insufficient. He was also strongly active with the socialist movement at the time, and he prioritized this over his own work and livelihood to the detriment of his family life.

Socialist involvement

He became secretary of the Scottish Socialist Federation. At the time his brother John was secretary; after John spoke at a rally in favour of the eight-hour day, however, he was fired from his job with the Edinburgh Corporation, so while he looked for work, James took over as secretary. During this time, Connolly became involved with the Independent Labour Party
Independent Labour Party
The Independent Labour Party was a socialist political party in Britain established in 1893. The ILP was affiliated to the Labour Party from 1906 to 1932, when it voted to leave...

 which Keir Hardie
Keir Hardie
James Keir Hardie, Sr. , was a Scottish socialist and labour leader, and was the first Independent Labour Member of Parliament elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom...

 had formed in 1893.

Sometime during this period, he took up the study of, and advocated the use of, the neutral international language, Esperanto
Esperanto
is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto , the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887...

.

By 1892 he was involved in the Scottish Socialist Federation
Scottish Socialist Federation
The Scottish Socialist Federation was a Scottish political party founded by supporters of the Social Democratic Federation in Edinburgh in December 1888....

, acting as its secretary from 1895. Two months after the birth of his third daughter, word came to Connolly that the Dublin Socialist Club was looking for a full-time secretary, a job that offered a salary of a pound a week. Connolly and his family moved to Dublin, where he took up the position. At his instigation, the club quickly evolved into the Irish Socialist Republican Party
Irish Socialist Republican Party
The Irish Socialist Republican Party was a pivotal Irish political party founded in 1896 by James Connolly. Its aim was to establish an Irish workers' republic...

 (ISRP). The ISRP is regarded by many Irish historians as a party of pivotal importance in the early history of Irish socialism and republicanism. While active as a socialist in Great Britain, Connolly was the founding editor of The Socialist
The Socialist (SLP newspaper)
The Socialist was the newspaper of the Socialist Labour Party , a De Leonist organisation in Britain founded in 1903.The newspaper was set up by James Connolly in 1901. He was its first editor, after which George Yates took over. During Yates' editorship, it was the focus of the De Leonists...

newspaper and was among the founders of the Socialist Labour Party which split from the Social Democratic Federation
Social Democratic Federation
The Social Democratic Federation was established as Britain's first organised socialist political party by H. M. Hyndman, and had its first meeting on June 7, 1881. Those joining the SDF included William Morris, George Lansbury and Eleanor Marx. However, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx's long-term...

 in 1903. While in America he was a member of the Socialist Labor Party of America
Socialist Labor Party of America
The Socialist Labor Party of America , established in 1876 as the Workingmen's Party, is the oldest socialist political party in the United States and the second oldest socialist party in the world. Originally known as the Workingmen's Party of America, the party changed its name in 1877 and has...

 (1906), the Socialist Party of America
Socialist Party of America
The Socialist Party of America was a multi-tendency democratic-socialist political party in the United States, formed in 1901 by a merger between the three-year-old Social Democratic Party of America and disaffected elements of the Socialist Labor Party which had split from the main organization...

 (1909) and the Industrial Workers of the World
Industrial Workers of the World
The Industrial Workers of the World is an international union. At its peak in 1923, the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split brought on by internal conflict...

, and founded the Irish Socialist Federation in New York, 1907. He famously had a chapter of his 1910 book "Labour in Irish History" entitled "A chapter of horrors: Daniel O’Connell and the working class." critical of the achiever of Catholic Emancipation
Catholic Emancipation
Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in Great Britain and Ireland in the late 18th century and early 19th century which involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics which had been introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws...

 60 years earlier. On his return to Ireland he was right hand man to James Larkin
James Larkin
James Larkin was an Irish trade union leader and socialist activist, born to Irish parents in Liverpool, England. He and his family later moved to a small cottage in Burren, southern County Down. Growing up in poverty, he received little formal education and began working in a variety of jobs...

 in the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. He stood twice for the Wood Quay ward of Dublin Corporation
Dublin Corporation
Dublin Corporation , known by generations of Dubliners simply as The Corpo, is the former name given to the city government and its administrative organisation in Dublin between 1661 and 1 January 2002...

 but was unsuccessful. His name, and those of his family, appears in the 1911 Census of Ireland - his occupation is listed as "National Organiser Socialist Party". In 1913, in response to the Lockout, he, along with an ex-British officer, Jack White
Jack White (labour unionist)
Captain James Robert "Jack" White DSO was one of the co-founders of the Irish Citizen Army.-Early life:Jack White was born in 1879, at Whitehall, in Broughshane, County Antrim, Ireland...

, founded the Irish Citizen Army
Irish Citizen Army
The Irish Citizen Army , or ICA, was a small group of trained trade union volunteers established in Dublin for the defence of worker’s demonstrations from the police. It was formed by James Larkin and Jack White. Other prominent members included James Connolly, Seán O'Casey, Constance Markievicz,...

 (ICA), an armed and well-trained body of labour men whose aim was to defend workers and strikers, particularly from the frequent brutality of the Dublin Metropolitan Police
Dublin Metropolitan Police
The Dublin Metropolitan Police was the police force of Dublin, Ireland, from 1836 to 1925, when it amalgamated into the new Garda Síochána.-19th century:...

. Though they only numbered about 250 at most, their goal soon became the establishment of an independent and socialist Irish nation. He founded the Irish Labour Party as the political wing of the Irish Trade Union Congress
Irish Trade Union Congress
The Irish Trade Union Congress was a union federation covering the island of Ireland.Until 1894, representatives of Irish trade unions attended the British Trades Union Congress. However, many felt that they had little impact on the British body, and decided to form their own federation. This...

 in 1912 and was a member of its National Executive. Around this time he met Winifred Carney
Winifred Carney
Maria Winifred Carney, known as Winnie Carney, was a suffragist, trade unionist and Irish independence activist. Born in Bangor, County Down, her family moved to the Falls Road in Belfast when she was a child...

 in Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, who became his secretary and would later accompany him during the Easter Rising
Easter Rising
The Easter Rising was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War...

.

Irish independence

Connolly stood aloof from the leadership of the Irish Volunteers
Irish Volunteers
The Irish Volunteers was a military organisation established in 1913 by Irish nationalists. It was ostensibly formed in response to the formation of the Ulster Volunteers in 1912, and its declared primary aim was "to secure and maintain the rights and liberties common to the whole people of Ireland"...

. He considered them too bourgeois and unconcerned with Ireland's economic independence. In 1916, thinking they were merely posturing and unwilling to take decisive action against Britain, he attempted to goad them into action by threatening to send the ICA against the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 alone, if necessary. This alarmed the members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood
Irish Republican Brotherhood
The Irish Republican Brotherhood was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland during the second half of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century...

, who had already infiltrated the Volunteers and had plans for an insurrection that very year. In order to talk Connolly out of any such rash action, the IRB leaders, including Tom Clarke
Tom Clarke (Irish republican)
Thomas James "Tom" Clarke was an Irish revolutionary leader and arguably the person most responsible for the 1916 Easter Rising. A proponent of violent revolution for most of his life, he spent 15 years in prison...

 and Patrick Pearse
Patrick Pearse
Patrick Henry Pearse was an Irish teacher, barrister, poet, writer, nationalist and political activist who was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916...

, met with Connolly to see if an agreement could be reached. During the meeting, the IRB and the ICA agreed to act together at Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 of that year.

When the Easter Rising
Easter Rising
The Easter Rising was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War...

 occurred on 24 April 1916, Connolly was Commandant of the Dublin Brigade. As the Dublin Brigade had the most substantial role in the rising, he was de facto commander-in-chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

. Following the surrender, he said to other prisoners: "Don't worry. Those of us that signed the proclamation will be shot. But the rest of you will be set free." Connolly was not actually held in gaol, but in a room (now called the "Connolly Room") at the State Apartments in Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland...

, which had been converted to a first-aid station for troops recovering from the war. He was taken to Royal Hospital Kilmainham, across the road from the gaol and then taken to the gaol to be executed. Visited by his wife, and asking about public opinion, he commented, "They will all forget that I am an Irishman." He confessed his sins, said to be his first religious act since marriage.

He was so badly injured from the fighting (a doctor had already said he had no more than a day or two to live, but the execution order was still given) that he was unable to stand before the firing squad. His absolution and last rites were administered by a Capuchin
Order of Friars Minor Capuchin
The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an Order of friars in the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans. The worldwide head of the Order, called the Minister General, is currently Father Mauro Jöhri.-Origins :...

, Father Aloysius. Asked to pray for the soldiers about to shoot him, he said: "I will say a prayer for all men who do their duty according to their lights."

Instead of being marched to the same spot where the others had been executed, at the far end of the execution yard, he was tied to a chair and then shot. The executions were not well received, even throughout Britain, and drew unwanted attention from the United States, which the British Government was trying to lure into the war in Europe. Herbert Asquith, the Prime Minister, ordered that no more executions were to take place; an exception being that of Roger Casement
Roger Casement
Roger David Casement —Sir Roger Casement CMG between 1911 and shortly before his execution for treason, when he was stripped of his British honours—was an Irish patriot, poet, revolutionary, and nationalist....

 as he had not yet been tried.

Family

James Connolly was survived by his wife Lillie and several children, of whom Nora
Nora Connolly O'Brien
Nora Connolly O'Brien was an activist and writer; she was also a member of the Irish Senate.The second daughter of James Connolly and Lillie Connolly, she was born in Scotland. In 1904, the family moved to the United States and moved to Belfast in 1907...

 became an influential writer and campaigner within the Irish-republican movement as an adult, and Roddy
Roddy Connolly
Roderick James Connolly was a socialist politician in Ireland.The son of Irish socialist James Connolly and Lillie Connolly, he was involved in the Easter Rising in 1916, where he served in the GPO under his father. He joined the Socialist Party of Ireland in 1917...

 continued his father's politics. In later years, both became members of the Oireachtas
Oireachtas
The Oireachtas , sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the "national parliament" or legislature of Ireland. The Oireachtas consists of:*The President of Ireland*The two Houses of the Oireachtas :**Dáil Éireann...

 (Irish parliament).

Death

Connolly was sentenced to death by firing squad for his part in the rising. On 12 May 1916 he was transported by military ambulance to Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison, located in Kilmainham in Dublin, which is now a museum. It has been run since the mid-1980s by the Office of Public Works , an Irish Government agency...

, carried to a prison courtyard on a stretcher, tied to a chair and shot. His body (along with those of the other rebels) was put in a mass grave without a coffin. The executions of the rebels deeply angered the majority of the Irish population, most of whom had shown no support during the rebellion. It was Connolly's execution, however, that caused the most controversy. Historians have pointed to the manner of execution of Connolly and similar rebels, along with their actions, as being factors that caused public awareness of their desires and goals and gathered support for the movements that they had died fighting for.

Legacy

His legacy in Ireland is mainly due to his contribution to the republican
Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 cause and his Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 has been largely overlooked by mainstream histories (although his legacy as a socialist has been claimed by the Communist Party of Ireland
Communist Party of Ireland
The Communist Party of Ireland is a small all-Ireland Marxist party, founded in 1933. An earlier party, the Socialist Party of Ireland, was renamed the Communist Party of Ireland in 1921 on its affiliation to the Communist International but was dissolved in 1924. The present-day CPI was founded in...

, Connolly Youth Movement
Connolly Youth Movement
The Connolly Youth Movement is an all-Ireland youth organisation affiliated to the Communist Party of Ireland but which is also strongly independent and organises separately from the CPI. Internationally the Connolly Youth Movement is affiliated to the World Federation of Democratic Youth...

, éirígí
Éirígí
-External links:*...

, the IRSP
Irish Republican Socialist Party
The Irish Republican Socialist Party or IRSP is a republican socialist party active in Ireland. It claims the legacy of socialist revolutionary James Connolly, who founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party in 1896 and was executed after the Easter Rising of 1916.- History :The Irish Republican...

, the Labour Party, Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party
Socialist Workers Party (Ireland)
The Socialist Workers Party is an Irish Trotskyist political party.-Foundation and growth:The SWP was originally founded in 1971 as the Socialist Workers Movement by supporters of the International Socialists of Britain living in Northern Ireland, who had previously been members of People's...

, the Workers' Party
Workers' Party of Ireland
The Workers' Party is a left-wing republican political party in Ireland. Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970 after a split within the party, adopting its current name in 1982....

, the Scottish Socialist Party
Scottish Socialist Party
The Scottish Socialist Party is a left-wing Scottish political party. Positioning itself significantly to the left of Scotland's centre-left parties, the SSP campaigns on a socialist economic platform and for Scottish independence....

 and a variety of other left-wing and left-republican groups). Despite claims to the contrary, however, Connolly's writings show him to be first and foremost a Marxist thinker. In several of his works he rails against the bourgeois nationalism
Bourgeois nationalism
Bourgeois nationalism is a term from Marxist phraseology. It refers to the alleged practice by the ruling classes of deliberately dividing people by nationality, race, ethnicity, or religion, so as to distract them from possible class warfare...

 of those who claimed to be Irish patriots
Patriotism
Patriotism is a devotion to one's country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy...

.
Connolly was among the few European members of the Second International who opposed, outright, World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. This put him at odds with most of the socialist leaders of Europe. He was influenced by and heavily involved with the radical Industrial Workers of the World
Industrial Workers of the World
The Industrial Workers of the World is an international union. At its peak in 1923, the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split brought on by internal conflict...

 labour union.

In Scotland, Connolly's thinking was hugely influential for socialists such as John Maclean
John Maclean (Scottish socialist)
John Maclean MA was a Scottish schoolteacher and revolutionary socialist. He is primarily known as a Marxist educator and notable for his outspoken opposition to the First World War....

, who would similarly combine his leftist thinking with nationalist ideas when he formed his Scottish Workers Republican Party
Scottish Workers Republican Party
The Scottish Workers Republican Party was formed by the Scottish Marxist activist John Maclean in the 1910s. It advocated the political doctrine of communism, whilst also supporting Scottish independence...

.

There is a statue of James Connolly in Dublin, outside Liberty Hall
Liberty Hall
Liberty Hall , in Dublin, Ireland is the headquarters of the Services, Industrial, Professional, and Technical Union...

, the offices of the SIPTU
SIPTU
SIPTU , or in Irish: CSTGT is Ireland's largest trade union, with around 200,000 members. Most of these members are in the Republic of Ireland, although the union does have a Northern Ireland branch...

 trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

. Another statue of Connolly stands in Union Park, Chicago near the offices of the Chicago branch of the IWW
Industrial Workers of the World
The Industrial Workers of the World is an international union. At its peak in 1923, the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split brought on by internal conflict...

 and UE
United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America
The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America , is an independent democratic rank-and-file labor union representing workers in both the private and public sectors across the United States....

.

In a 1972 interview on the Dick Cavett Show, John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

 stated that James Connolly was an inspiration for his song, Woman Is the Nigger of the World
Woman Is the Nigger of the World
"Woman Is the Nigger of the World" is a song written by John Lennon & Yoko Ono and recorded by John Lennon. It was released as a single on Apple Records in the United States and in New Zealand and Japan, but was withdrawn from release in Britain. It peaked at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100, making...

. Lennon quoted Connolly's 'the female is the slave of the slave' in explaining the pro-feminist inspiration behind the song.

Connolly Station
Dublin Connolly railway station
Dublin Connolly, commonly called Connolly station , is one of the main railway stations in Dublin, Ireland, and is a focal point in the Irish route network. Opened in 1844 as Amiens Street Station, the ornate facade has a distinctive Italianate tower at its centre...

, one of the two main railway stations in Dublin, and Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown
Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown
Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown is a public university teaching hospital in Dublin city, Ireland. It was founded in 1955 as an asylum for tuberculosis patients. It is run by the Irish Health Service Executive and currently serves a population of over 290,000...

, are named in his honour.

In a 2002, BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 television production, 100 Greatest Britons
100 Greatest Britons
100 Greatest Britons was broadcast in 2002 by the BBC. The programme was the result of a vote conducted to determine whom the United Kingdom public considers the greatest British people in history. The series, Great Britons, included individual programmes on the top ten, with viewers having further...

where the British public were asked to register their vote, Connolly was voted in 64th place.

Personal religious beliefs

James Connolly's personal religious convictions are a matter of conjecture. He declared himself a Roman Catholic in the Dublin Census of 1911. In the only written record made by Connolly about his personal position in relation to Catholicism, he stated:
In his response to Father Robert Kane's lectures denouncing socialism, Connolly stated:
An earlier work also published by the Irish Socialist Republican Party (ISRP), called Socialism and Religion, where Connolly says of socialism:
Connolly's fellow labor leader James Larkin
James Larkin
James Larkin was an Irish trade union leader and socialist activist, born to Irish parents in Liverpool, England. He and his family later moved to a small cottage in Burren, southern County Down. Growing up in poverty, he received little formal education and began working in a variety of jobs...

 said of him that:
Scott Herbert, however, called him a "devout Catholic". Father Aloysius in conversation to his daughter Nora:
Selected extracts from the personal recollections of Father Aloysius OFM Cap.

Three months after James Connolly's execution his wife Lillie (née Lillie Reynolds, a domestic servant from Co Wicklow) was received into the Catholic Church, at Church St. on 15 August.

Whilst in the United States where he had joined the Socialist Labour Party in 1903, he clashed with party leader Daniel De Leon
Daniel De Leon
Daniel DeLeon was an American socialist newspaper editor, politician, Marxist theoretician, and trade union organizer. He is regarded as the forefather of the idea of revolutionary industrial unionism and was the leading figure in the Socialist Labor Party of America from 1890 until the time of...

, who called Connolly, amongst other things, a "Jesuit spy."

Further reading

  • Connolly, James. 1987. Collected Works (Two volumes). Dublin: New Books.
  • Connolly, James. The Lost Writings (ed. Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh), London: Pluto Press ISBN 0-7453-1296-9
  • Connolly, James. 1973. Selected Political Writings (eds. Owen Dudley Edwards & Bernard Ransom), London: Jonathan Cape
  • Connolly, James. 1973. Selected Writings (ed. P. Berresford Ellis), various editions
  • Connolly, James. 1948. Socialism and Nationalism: A Selection from the Writings of James Connolly (ed. Desmond Ryan), Dublin: Sign of the Three Candles.
  • David Lloyd. Rethinking national marxism. James Connolly and ‘Celtic Communism’
  • Spurgeon Thompson. Gramsci and James Connolly: Anticolonial intersections
  • Allen, Kieran. 1990. The Politics of James Connolly, London: Pluto Press ISBN 0-7453-0473-7
  • Anderson, W.K. 1994. James Connolly and the Irish Left. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. ISBN 0-7165-2522-4.
  • Fox, R.M. 1943. The History of the Irish Citizen Army. Dublin: James Duffy & Co.
  • Fox, R.M. 1946. James Connolly: the forerunner. Tralee: The Kerryman.
  • Greaves, C. Desmond. 1972. The Life and Times of James Connolly. London: Lawrence & Wishart. ISBN 0-85315-234-9.
  • Kostick, Conor & Collins, Lorcan. 2000. The Easter Rising. Dublin: O'Brien Press ISBN 0-86278-638-X
  • Levenson S. James Connolly A Biography. Martin Brian and O'Keeffe Ltd., London, 1973. ISBN 0-85616-130-6.
  • Lynch, David. 2006. Radical Politics in Modern Ireland: A History of the Irish Socialist Republican Party (ISRP) 1896-1904. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. ISBN 0-7165-3356-1.
  • Morgan, Austen. 1988. James Connolly: A Political Biography, Manchester: Manchester University Press ISBN 0-7190-2519-2
  • Nevin, Donal. 2005. James Connolly: A Full Life. Dublin: Gill & MacMillan. ISBN 0-7171-3911-5.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Aindrias. 1996. An Modh Conghaileach: Cuid sóisialachais Shéamais Uí Chonghaile. Dublin: Coiscéim.
  • Ransom, Bernard. 1980. Connolly's Marxism, London: Pluto Press. ISBN 0-861-04308-1.
  • Strauss, Eric. 1973. Irish Nationalism and British Democracy, Westport CT: Greenwood. ISBN 0-837-18046-5

External links

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