J. Connolly, 1862-1916: creating James Connolly

This is the second of four posts on James Connolly’s early life looking at what helped shape him. The first looked at the 1872 lamplighters strike. This one looks at his brother John. The next post will look at some early writing by Connolly from 1889-1891 (which may not have been recognized up to now).Continue reading “J. Connolly, 1862-1916: creating James Connolly”

The 1872 Edinburgh Lamplighters strike: creating James Connolly

I’m going to do some posts on James Connolly in the run up to the anniversary of his execution next week, in particular some of the unexplored experiences that may have shaped his politics and values and created the James Connolly that emerges in his later writing and politics. I’m going to start by lookingContinue reading “The 1872 Edinburgh Lamplighters strike: creating James Connolly”

James Connolly, the British soldier.

This may come as a shock to many people but James Connolly, the revolutionary socialist and republican, had served in the British army (but then, so many Irish people did join up, it’s hardly a surprise). This post looks at some of what we know about Connolly the British soldier. James Connolly’s legend appears toContinue reading “James Connolly, the British soldier.”

Suffragettes, James Connolly and hunger-striking

The modern tactic of hunger-striking was largely devised by the suffragette movement in 1909. As a tactic it attempted to capture people’s imagination and, it was hoped, awaken an interest in the political issues at hand. By doing so it attempted to mobilise public opinion against the authorities. The suffragettes used hunger strikers in prisonsContinue reading “Suffragettes, James Connolly and hunger-striking”

Seumas Robinson, a Belfast link to Solohead Beg

The Irish Times has an interesting article about the IRA O/C at the Solohead Beg ambush, Seumas Robinson, who was regarded as a Belfast man, even though he spent a lot of his life in Scotland. He recounts that James Connolly called him ‘towney’ which Robinson says was Connolly recognising both of their connections toContinue reading “Seumas Robinson, a Belfast link to Solohead Beg”

Tom Barry’s British Army service records and #Armistice100

On 30th June 1915, Thomas Bernard Barry from Cork (but born in Kerry) joined the British Army at Athlone and enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery,  going on to serve with the 14th Battery in the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force and Egypt. Barry is better known for his subsequent exploits as Tom Barry, a leading I.R.A.Continue reading “Tom Barry’s British Army service records and #Armistice100”

Where, oh where, is our James Connolly: #Connolly150

One of the remarkable things about James Connolly is how his life provides an intersection with so many long-standing themes: immigration, poverty and disadvantage, Irish-British relations, the Irish in Scotland, class politics, imperialism, socialism and Irish republicanism. Another critical area, in which so many of these issues, and others, converge is in service in theContinue reading “Where, oh where, is our James Connolly: #Connolly150”

Winnie Carney at the GPO, via #Herstory

Last night, the image of Winifred Carney was one of those projected onto the GPO as part of #Herstory, to coincide with Nollaig na mBan (literary, ‘the women’s Christmas’, the traditional Irish name for the Christian feast of the Epiphany in Ireland). You can check out more text and images via the Herstory social mediaContinue reading “Winnie Carney at the GPO, via #Herstory”

James Connolly 150th anniversary

The 5th June 2018 will mark the 150th anniversary of James Connolly’s birth in Edinburgh of Monaghan parents. I’m sure the year will include various events and discussions of Connolly, his life and legacy. One area that interests me and, I think, seems wholly under-explored, is Connolly’s time as a British soldier. Not just inContinue reading “James Connolly 150th anniversary”