James Connolly (1868-1916)

[var. c.1879; Gl.  Séamas Ó Conghaile]; b. 5 June 1869, Cowgate (“Little Ireland”), Edinburgh, of Irish immigrant parents from Co. Monaghan, John Connolly and Mary [née] McGinn; left school at eleven; began employment at printing works, 1882; enlisted under false name of Reid in Second Battalion of the Royal Scots Regiment (British Army) to escape poverty at 14, serving for 7 years, partly at Cork, later in Dublin; deserted from Curragh before his regiment was sent to India; fled to Perth, Scotland, 1889 [aetat. 21], accompanied by Lillie Reynold, a Scottish girl, whom he married, 20 April, 1890 - with whom three daughters [incl. 2nd child Nora, b.1893; Roddy b. 1901]; failed in business as a cobbler; became a carter in Edinburgh; encountered John Leslie, Labour politician (1873-1955?); became a trade unionist taking over from his brother John as Secretary of the Scottish Socialist Federation [var. Socialist Democratic Federation], May, 1895; become involved in Keir Hardie's Independent Labour Party, fnd. 1893; learned and promoted Esperanto;
James Connolly
travelled to Ireland with his family as paid organiser of the Dublin Socialist Club, May 1896, becomeing founding member of the Irish Socialist Republican Party [ISRP], May 1896, with the stated aim of securing ‘national and economic freedom of the Irish people’; published ‘Erin’s Hope’ (1897); arrested in course of 1798 commemoration, June 21, 1897, Maud Gonne paying the fine for his release; published The New Evangel (1901); also Father Finlay, S.J., and Socialism: An Exposition of Social Evolution (1901); became fnd. ed. of Workers’ Republic, 1898-99; toured Scotland and England on behalf of the Socialist Labour Party in 1903 - a splinter from the SDF formed by Connolly with Neil Maclean and others impressed by Daniel De Leon’s Socialist Labor Party in America; joined protests by Maud Gonne and Arthur Griffith against Boer War;
sailed for USA, without his family, September 18, 1903, remaining until 1910; worked with The Socialist Labor Party on the east coast; joined by family, 1904 - and learns that his eldest dg. Mona has burnt to death in an accident; became Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organiser, 1908; issued Socialism Made Easy (1909) and Labour, Nationality and Religion (1910), in reply to Father Kane, S.J., who delivered anti-socialist Lenten pastorals at Gardiner Street, 1909; fnd. Irish Socialist Federation in New York, attracting notice of William O’Brien;toured USA for 11 months, 1909-1910; issued Labor in Irish History in America (1910); returned to Ireland, arriving 26 July, 1910
assured of post in Socialist Party by O’Brien; given secretarial work under James Larkin of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ [ITGWU]; wrote Under Which Flag?, unprinted play; ed. The Harp; co-founded the Industrial workers of the World (“Wobblies”); was sent to Belfast on behalf of ITGWU, 1911, living at Glenalina Tce., off Falls Rd.; proposed foundation of Irish Labour Party at TUC meeting in Clonmel, 1912; led Irish Workers in Dublin when Larkin was imprisoned in 1913; responded to state brutally against strikers and demonstrators in Dublin Lock Out Strikg of 1912-13 approximately 250 strong Irish Citizen Army to defend the strikers; strikes end in defeat but set a precedent that would create better conditions and secure the rights of workers in Ireland; by forming the 250-strong Irish Citizen Army at Liberty Hall, with drillmaster Capt. J. R. [’Jack”] White - son of Field Marshal Sir George White, of Broughshane, co. Antrim;
warns British against a ‘carnival of reaction’ if compulsory recruitment was introduced in Ireland; fnd. the Irish labour Party, as political wing of the Irish Trade Union Council, 1912; met Winifred Carney who would become his secretary and accompanied him during the 1916 Rising;revived the Workers’ Republic on suppression of Irish Worker, Dec. 1914; formed Anti-War Committee after Redmond’s speech at Woodenbridge, Sept. 20, 1914, committing Labour movement to oppose recruitment and conscription, flying the banner, “We Serve Neither King Nor Kaiser, but Ireland” at Liberty Hall; attacked the remaining Irish Volunteers for inactivity; Workers’ Republic suppressed, 1915; Re-Conquest of Ireland (1915); became Acting General Secretary of Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU), 1915; Worker’s Republic asks, ‘Are we not waiting too long?’, Jan. 1916;
disappears for three days in Jan. 1916 (kidnapped by the IRB?], and shared in secret meeting with the Irish Republican Brotherhood which resulted in the decision to embark on the 1916 Rising with joint forces of the Irish Volunteers - controlled by the IRB - and the Irish Citizen Army; appointed military commander of Republican forces in Dublin [Dublin Brigade] by IRB Council, 1916; argued against occupation of Dublin Castle, as too straggling to defend and as containing Red Cross Hospital; appt. Commandant in GPO, Easter 1916; received multiple wounds and considered likely to live two days after arrest; held in a room of the State Apartments in Dublin Castle used for war-wounded [WWI]; sentence to death by court-martial; accepted Catholic last rites from Fr. Aloysius Travers of the Capuchin Order; urged his wife to convert to Catholicism at their last meeting (‘Hasn’t it been a full life, Lillie? And isn’t this a good end?’), asking his family to leave Ireland afterwards and seek friends abroad; executed by firing-squad tied to a chair at Kilmainham, 12 May 1916 [err. 9 May, DIH]; purportedly said of his executioners, ‘I will say a prayer for all men who do their duty according to their lights’; buried in a mass grave with other leaders, uncoffined and in quick-lime.
the Connolly Association was founded in Britain in 1938; The Testimony of James Connolly, was written and dir. by Eoghan Harris (RTE 1968); the National Library of Ireland holds his papers; a portrait-bust of him was erected in Troy, New York, 1988; a Dublin memorial by the sculptor Eamonn O’Doherty was planned for Beresford Place, Dublin, after a competition for the contract; “Labor & Dignity - James Connolly in America” an exhibition curated by Marion C. Casey, was mounted at Glucksman House (NYU) as part of Ireland’s Decade of Commemorations and its own 20th anniversary was toured to the TCD Library Long Room in Dec. 2013-Feb. 2014; a statue of Connolly by Steve Finney, cast in the Dublin Foundry, was unveiled by his grandson James Connolly Heron with the Minister of Culture, Caral Ni Chuilin, on the Falls Road, Belfast, in March 2016; Connolly is the subject of two commemorative poems by Sorley Maclean/Somhairle MacGill-Eain - one called ‘The Shirt of James Connolly’ based on the relic in the National Museum of Ireland. DIB DIH OCIL FDA

Monument to James Connolly at Beresford Place, Dublin
sculpt. Eamon O’Doherty
Statue by Eamon O'Doherty
“The Cause of Labour is the Cause of Ireland. The Cause of Ireland is the Cause of Labour.” (Inscription.)
Statue by Eamon O'Doherty

Photo by Colm O’Callaghan, post on Facebook by Frank Allan [19.01.2017.]

Visited by his wife and daughter Nora in prison on 9 May 1916, shortly before his execution, Connolly asked if the socialist newspapers had taken notice of the Rising and said resignedly, ‘They will never understand why I am here. They will all forget I am an Irishman.’ (Quoted by Ray Burnett [in title and text] in Scotland and the Easter Rising: Fresh Perspectives on 1916, ed. Kirsty Lusk & Willy Maley, Luath 2016 - available online; accessed 22.01.2022.)

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Published works
  • Erin’s Hope: The End and the Means (Dublin: Maunsel [for Irish Socialist Republican Party] 1897).
  • The New Evangel (Dublin: W. H. West [for Socialist Party of Ireland [1901]), 12pp., and Do. [rep. as] The New Evangel Preached to Irish Toilers: State Monopoly Versus Socialism (Dublin: Irish Workmen [1910]), and Do., jointly printed as Erin’s Hope: The End and the Means [and] The New Evangel, Preached to Irish Toilers [rep.] (London: Connolly Books 1968), 20pp., and Do. (Dublin & Belfast: New Books Publ. 1972), 40pp.
  • Labour, Nationality and Religion (Dublin: Harp Library 1910).
  • Labour in Irish History (Dublin: Maunsel 1910; rep. New Books 1973) [see cover].
  • The Re-conquest of Ireland (1915), and Do., rep. in Labour in Ireland (1917), pp.219-346 [full-text version - via index or as attached.]
  • Labour in Ireland [containing 1. Labour in Irish History and 2. The Reconquest of Ireland], intro. by Robert Lynd (Dublin & London: Maunsel & Co. 1917), and Do., reiss. as Labour in Irish Politics, intro. by Robert Lynd (Dublin: Maunsel 1922), 346pp.; Do. [another edn.] introduced by Cathal O’Shannon (Dublin, Fleet Street: The Candles Press [q.d.]).
  • Legacy and Songs of Freedom ([Dublin: Maunsel] 1917);
Collections & Editions
  • Collected Writings, 3 vols. (Dublin: Sign of the Three Candles 1946-1951) [see details].
  • The Workers’ Republic: A Selection from the Writings of James Connolly (Dublin: Sign of the Three Candles 1951).
  • Prionsias Mac Aonghusa & Liam Ó Reagain, eds., The Best of Connolly (Cork: Mercier Press 1967).
  • Peter Beresford Ellis, ed., James Connolly: Selected Writings (Harmondsworth: Penguin [Pelican]; NY: New Monthly 1973; London: Pluto 1997) [see details].
  • Owen Dudley Edwards & B. Ransom, eds., Selected Political Writings (London: Jonathan Cape 1973).
  • Peter Berresford Ellis, ed., Selected Writings of James Connolly (London: Pluto 1990).
  • Prionsias MacAonghusa, What Connolly Said (Dublin: New Island 1995), 94pp.
  • Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh [ed.], James Connolly: The Lost Writings (London: Pluto 1997), 256pp.
  • Conor McCarthy, The Revolutionary and Anti-Imperialist Writings of James Connolly 1893-1916 (Edinburgh UP 2016), 320pp. [see contents].
  • Socialism and the Irish Rebellion: Writings of James Connolly [new edn.] (Red and Black Publ. 2008 ), 264pp. [also University of Michigan 2010].
  • Donal Nevin, ed., Between Comrades: James Connolly Letters and Correspondence 1889-1916 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 2007), 672pp. [centrally features correspondence with John Carstairs Matheson, a Scot who was his closest confidant].

Newspapers edited by James Connolly (publication dates)
  • Workers’ Republic 1898-1903.
  • Socialist, 1902-04.
  • Harp, 1908-10.
  • Irish Worker, 1911-14.
  • Worker, 1914-15.
  • Workers’ Republic, 1915-16.

A Bibliography of the Journal writings of James Connolly (from Marxist Org > Connolly)
1894 Party Politicians - Noble, Ignoble and Local (Labour Chronicle, 1 December)
1896 Irish Socialist Republican Party
1897 Socialism and Nationalism (Shan Van Vocht, January)
‘Patriotism and Labour (Shan Van Vocht, August)
‘Socialism and Irish Nationalism (L’Irlande Libre, Paris)
‘Erin’s Hope - The End & The Means (pamphlet)
‘Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
1898 The Fighting Race’ (Workers’ Republic 13 August)
‘Home Rule Journalists and Patriotism’ (Workers’ Republic 13 August)
‘The Men We Honour’ (Workers’ Republic 13 August)
‘An Open Letter to Dublin Castle’ (Workers’ Republic 13 August)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 20 August)
‘The Roots of Modern War’ (Workers’ Republic 20 August)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 27 August)
‘Labour Representation’ (Workers’ Republic 27 August)
‘Peasant Proprietorship and Socialism’ (Workers’ Republic 27 August)
‘British and Russian Imperialism I’ (Workers’ Republic 3 September)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 3 September)
‘British and Russian Imperialism II’ (Workers’ Republic 10 September)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 17 September)
‘Regicide and Revolution’ (Workers’ Republic 17 September)
‘The Irish Land Question’ (Workers’ Republic 24 September)
‘The Independent and New Machinery’ (Workers’ Republic 1 October)
‘Parnellism and Labour’ (Workers’ Republic 8 October)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 22 October)
‘A Socialist Candidate for Dublin Corporation’ (Workers’ Republic 22 October)
1899 Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic May)
‘Resurgam!’ (Workers’ Republic May)
‘The Sweating System’ (Workers’ Republic 3 June)
‘State Monopoly versus Socialism’ (Workers’ Republic 10 June - The New Evangel)
‘Socialism and Religion’ (Workers’ Republic 17 June - The New Evangel)
‘Father Finlay, S.J., and Socialism’ (Workers’ Republic 1 July - The New Evangel)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 1 July)
‘Socialism and Political Reformers’ (Workers’ Republic 8 July - The New Evangel)
‘“Soldiers of the Queen”’ (Workers’ Republic 15 July)
‘Physical Force in Irish Politics’ (Workers’ Republic 22 July)
‘The Economic Basis of Politics’ (Workers’ Republic 12 August - The New Evangel)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 19 August)
‘The South African War I’ (Workers’ Republic 19 August)
‘Law and Order’ (Workers’ Republic 26 August)
‘The Re-Conquest of Ireland’ (Workers’ Republic 2 September)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 9 September)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 23 September)
‘Compositors and the Linotype’ (Workers’ Republic 30 September)
‘America and Ireland - Farmers’ Demands’ (Workers’ Republic 21 October)
‘Imperialism and Socialism’ (Workers’ Republic 4 November)
‘Socialism and Imperialism’ (Workers’ Republic 4 November)
‘Landlordism in Towns’ (Workers’ Republic 18 November)
‘The South African War II’ (Workers’ Republic 18 November)
‘A Plea for the Children’ (Workers’ Republic 2 December)
‘Dogma and Food’ (Workers’ Republic 9 December)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 9 December)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 16 December)
‘Dublin and the War’ (Workers’ Republic 30 December)
‘Our Mad Rulers’ (Workers’ Republic 30 December)
‘Let Us Free Ireland!’ (Workers’ Republic)
1900 ‘Bruce Glasier in Ireland’ (Justice, 31 March)
‘The Difficulties of Socialism’ (Workers’ Republic 3 June)
‘The Difficulties of Socialism’ (Workers’ Republic 3 June)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 3 June)
‘The Difficulties of Capitalism’ (Workers’ Republic 16 June)
‘Resolution of Sympathy with the Boers’ (Workers’ Republic 30 June)
‘The Coming Generation’ (Workers’ Republic 15 July)
‘Ireland Sober is Ireland Free?’ (Workers’ Republic 15 July)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 15 September)
‘Parliamentary Democracy’ (Workers’ Republic 22 September)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Workers’ Republic 10 November)
‘The Corporation and the Children’ (Workers’ Republic 24 November)
‘An Object Lesson’ (Workers’ Republic 15 December)
1901 ‘Socialist Electioneering’ (Workers’ Republic February)
‘Class Government and Class War’ (Workers’ Republic May)
‘Justice And Millerand (Justice, 25 May)
‘Irish Trade Union Congress’ (Workers’ Republic June)
‘Home Rulers and Labour’ (Workers’ Republic October)
‘Letter to the Secretary of the Edinburgh branch of the SDF (letter, 1 November)
‘Wood Quay Ward - To the Electors’ (Workers’ Republic December)
‘The New Evangel - Preached to Irish Toilers (pamphlet)
1902 Coronation of King Edward VII (1902)
‘Taken Root!’ (Workers’ Republic March)
‘The Irish Socialist Republican Party and the Dewsbury Election (Justice, 29 March 1902)
‘Our “American Mission”’ (Workers’ Republic August)
1903 Wood Quay Ward, Election Address - Dublin (January)
‘The New Danger’ (Workers’ Republic April)
‘A Rebel Song’ (The Socialist, May)
‘Unpatriotic?’ (Workers’ Republic May)
The Socialist Labour Party of America and the London SDF’ (The Socialist, June)
‘The American SDP - Its Origin, its Press, and its Policies’ (The Socialist, July)
‘Loubet - and Other Things’ (The Socialist, August)
1904 The Connolly-DeLeon Controversy (April-June)
1907 ‘Revolutionary Song’ (Songs of Freedom)
‘We Only Want the Earth’ (Songs of Freedom)
‘Wages and Prices’ (The Industrial Union Bulletin, 26 October 1907)
‘Notes from New York’ (The Industrial Union Bulletin, 7 December 1907)
1908 Declaration of Principles of the Irish Socialist Federation (New York, January)
‘The Coming Revolt in India I’ (The Harp, January)
‘Harp Strings’ (The Harp, January)
‘Our Purpose and Function’ (The Harp, January)
‘A Political Party of The Workers’ (The Harp, January)
‘The Coming Revolt in India II’ (The Harp, February)
‘Irish Socialist Republic - To the Irish People’ (The Harp, March)
‘Sinn Féin and Socialism’ (The Harp, April)
‘To Irish Wage Workers in America’ (The Harp, May)
‘Harp Strings’ (The Harp, June)
‘Political Action’ (The Harp, July)
‘Michael Davitt - A Text for a Revolutionary Lecture’ (The Harp, August)
‘The Irish Masses in History’ (The Harp, September)
‘Roman Catholicism and Socialism’ (The Harp, September)
‘Facets of American Liberty’ (The Harp, December)
‘The Future of Labour’ (Socialism Made Easy)
‘Industrial Unionism and Constructive Socialism’ (Socialism Made Easy)
1909 ‘Sinn Fein, Socialism and the Nation’ (Irish Nation, 23 January)
‘Learning Their Lesson’ (The Harp, September)
‘Ballots, Bullets, Or - (The International Socialist Review, October)
‘Capitalism and the Irish Small Farmers’ (The Harp, November) [see extract]
‘Erin’s Hope - The End & The Means (Revised American edition)
Socialism Made Easy (Extracts from Labor Action)
Workshop Talks
1910 A New Labour Policy’ (The Harp, January)
‘Industrialism and the Trade Unions’ (International Socialist Review, February)
‘Labour and Politics in Ireland’ (The Harp, April)
Labour in Irish History (pamphlet 1910)
Labour, Nationality and Religion (pamphlet 1910)
Socialist Party of Ireland (1910 or early 1911)
1911 John Redmond, M.P. - His Strength and Weakness’ (Forward, 11 March)
‘Sweatshops Behind the Orange Flag’ (Forward, 11 March)
‘The Connolly-Walker Controversy: On Socialist Unity in Ireland’ (Forward, May-July)
‘Belfast Dockers - Their Miseries and their Triumphs’ (Irish Worker, 26 August)
‘Walter Carpenter Free’ (Irish Worker, 2 September)
‘Direct Action in Belfast’ (Irish Worker, 16 September)
‘Visit of King George V [see extract]
1912 ‘An Exchange on Rome and Irish Catholics’ (Catholic Times, November)
‘Some Rambling Remarks’ (Irish Worker, Christmas number)
‘Belfast Labour Meeting & Home Rule Bill (resolution)
1913 Belfast Municipal Elections January 1913 - Dock Ward: Election of a Councillor (January)
‘British Labour and Irish politicians’ (Forward, 3 May)
‘Catholicism, Protestantism & Politics’ (Forward, 3 May)
‘Many-Headed Opposition’ (Forward, 10 May)
‘The Awakening of Ulster’s Democracy’ (Forward, 7 June)
‘The Larne Strike I’ (Forward, 14 June)
‘The Larne Strike II’ (Forward, 28 June)
‘July the 12th’ (Forward, 12 July)
‘North-East Ulster’ (Forward, 2 August)
‘A Forgotten Chapter in Irish History’ (Forward, 9 August)
‘Belfast and Dublin To-Day’ (Forward, 23 August)
‘The Dublin Lock Out: On the Eve’ (Irish Worker, 30 August)
‘Press Poisoners in Ireland’ (Forward, 30 August)
‘Glorious Dublin!’ (Forward, 4 October)
Documents for the Askwith Inquiry
‘The Children, The Irish Transport & General Workers’ Union and the Archbishop’ (Forward, 1 November)
‘How to Release Larkin’ (Irish Worker, 1 November)
‘Importation v. Deportation’ (Irish Worker, 8 November)
‘Irish Rebels and English Mobs’ (Irish Worker, 22 November)
‘A Titanic Struggle (The Daily Herald, 6 December)
‘Capitalist Dove of Peace?’ (Irish Worker, 6 December)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Irish Worker, 6 December)
‘Arms and the Man’ (Irish Worker, 13 December)
‘Home Thrusts’ (Irish Worker, 13 December)
‘Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union
‘To the Working Class of Dublin’ (Irish Worker, 13 December)
‘A Fiery Cross or Christmas Bells’ (Irish Worker, 20 December)
‘To the Linen Slaves of Belfast’ (Manifesto of Irish Textile Workers’ Union)
1914 ‘Mr Murphy’s Great New Year Speech’ (Irish Worker, 3 January)
‘A Lesson From Dublin’ (Forward, 2 February)
‘The Isolation of Dublin’ (Forward, 9 February)
‘The Lenten Pastorals - A Challenge’ (Irish Worker, 28 February)
‘Labour and the Proposed Partition of Ireland’ (Irish Worker, 14 March)
‘The Outrages at Jacob’s’ (Irish Worker, 14 March)
‘Industrial Unity and Political Division in Ireland’ (Forward, 21 March)
‘The War in Ulster’ (Forward, 28 March)
‘Ireland and Ulster: An Appeal to the Working Class’ (Irish Worker, 4 April)
‘The Exclusion of Ulster’ (Forward, 11 April)
‘The Solidarity of Labour’ (Forward, 18 April)
‘Old Wine in New Bottles (New Age, 30 April)
Independent Labour Party of Ireland: Ireland Upon The Dissecting Table (April)
‘Changes’ (Forward, 9 May)
‘The Legacy’ (Irish Worker, 23 May)
‘The Problem of Trade Union Organization’ (Forward, 23 May)
‘The Liberals and Ulster’ (Forward, 30 May)
‘Address to the Delegates’ (Irish Worker, 30 May)
‘Yellow Unions in Ireland’ (Forward, 20 June)
‘Labour in the New Irish Parliament’ (Forward, 4 July)
‘The Latest Massacre in Dublin’ (Forward, 1 August)
‘The Carsonite Position’ (Irish Worker, 8 August)
‘Our Duty In This Crisis’ (Irish Worker, 8 August)
‘A Continental Revolution’ (Forward, 15 August)
‘The National Danger’ (Irish Worker, 15 August)
‘No Compromise - No Conciliation’ (Irish Worker, 15 August)
‘A Martyr For Conscience Sake’ (Forward, 22 August)
‘America and Europe’ (Irish Worker, 22 August)
‘Northern Notes’ (Irish Worker, 22 August)
‘On German Militarism’ (Irish Worker, 22 August)
‘The War Upon The German Nation’ (Irish Worker, 29 August)
‘The Real Situation In Ireland’ (Forward, 5 September)
‘Connolly’s Speech on War’s Outbreak’ (Irish Worker, 5 September)
‘Recruiting - Let the Wastrels Go’ (Irish Worker, 5 September)
‘The Friends of Small Nationalities’ (Irish Worker, 12 September)
‘Ruling By Fooling: Home Rule On the Statute Book”’ (Irish Worker, 19 September)
‘Some Perverted Battle Lines’ (Irish Worker, 26 September)
‘A Matter of Coercion’ (Irish Worker, 3 October)
‘Redmond Cannot Deliver the Goods’ (Irish Worker, 3 October)
‘A Forward Policy for Volunteers’ (Irish Worker, 10 October)
Forward!’ (Irish Worker, 17 October)
‘How England Sacrificed Belgium’ (Irish Worker, 17 October)
‘Ireland and the War - The Position of the Nation’ (Irish Worker, 17 October)
‘The Ballot or the Barricades’ (Irish Worker, 24 October)
‘The Hope of Ireland’ (Irish Worker, 31 October)
‘Rally for Labour’ (Irish Worker, 14 November)
‘Disturbed Dublin’ (Irish Worker, 18 November)
‘Labour Mans the Breach’ (Irish Worker, 21 November)
‘Tell the Truth - A Challenge to Mr Birrell’ (Irish Worker, 28 November)
‘Courtsmartial and Revolution’ (Irish Worker, 19 December)
‘Independent Labour Party of Ireland: Appeal to the Irish Working Class
‘War: What It Means To You (Irish Citizen Army [Belfast Division])
1915 “In This Supreme Hour of Our National Danger’ (The Worker, 9 January)
‘Jottings’ (The Worker, 16 January)
‘Our Rulers as a Study’ (The Worker, 30 January)
‘Can Warfare Be Civilized?’ (The Worker, 30 January)
‘Revolutionary Unionism and War’ (International Socialist Review, March)
‘Love of Freedom’ (Workers’ Republic 8 April)
‘Revolutionary Warfare’ (Workers’ Republic May-July)
‘The Dublin Lock-Out and Its Sequel’ (Workers’ Republic 29 May)
‘Moscow Insurrection of 1905’ (Workers’ Republic 29 May [from Revolutionary Warfare])
‘Our Policy’ (Workers’ Republic 29 May)
‘From a Labour Day Speech in Dublin’ (Workers’ Republic 5 June)
‘Insurrection in the Tyrol’ (Workers’ Republic 5 June [from Revolutionary Warfare])
‘Our Disappearing Liberties’ (Workers’ Republic 5 June)
‘College Green: A Labour Candidate’ (Workers’ Republic 12 June)
‘Revolution in Belgium’ (Workers’ Republic 12 June [from Revolutionary Warfare])
‘After the Battle’ (Workers’ Republic 19 June)
‘Defence of the Alamo’ (Workers’ Republic 19 June [from Revolutionary Warfare])
‘Liberty and Labour’ (Workers’ Republic 19 June)
‘A Railway Thief’ (Workers’ Republic 26 June)
‘War at Home’ (Workers’ Republic 26 June)
‘Revolution in Paris, 1830’ (Workers’ Republic 3 July [from Revolutionary Warfare])
‘The Right to Strike’ (Workers’ Republic 3 July)
‘Lexington’ (Workers’ Republic 10 July [from Revolutionary Warfare])
‘What is a Scab?’ (Workers’ Republic 10 July)
‘Coercion in England’ (Workers’ Republic 17 July)
‘June 1848’ (Workers’ Republic 17 July [from Revolutionary Warfare])
‘Street Fighting - Summary’ (Workers’ Republic 24 July [from Revolutionary Warfare])
‘Strikes and Revolution’ (Workers’ Republic 24 July)
‘Dublin Trades Council’ (Workers’ Republic 31 July)
‘The Man and the Cause!’ (Workers’ Republic 31 July)
‘Why The Citizen Army Honours Rossa (Rossa Souvenir, July)
‘Ireland’s Travail and Ireland’s Resurrection’ (Workers’ Republic 7 August)
‘To All Labourers’ Societies’ (Workers’ Republic 14 August)
‘Militarism’ (Workers’ Republic 21 August)
‘Coercion in England’ (Workers’ Republic 28 August)
‘Wee Joe Devlin’ (Workers’ Republic 28 August)
‘The Party Versus the People’ (Workers’ Republic 4 September)
‘Protect Your Women’ (Workers’ Republic 11 September)
‘God Help the Poor Irish’ (Workers’ Republic 18 September)
‘Some Irish Slaves and Slavishness’ (Workers’ Republic 25 September)
‘James Keir Hardie’ (Workers’ Republic 2 October)
‘Labour and the Budget - Dublin Transport Workers’ Protest’ (Workers’ Republic 2 October)
‘Notes on the Front’ (Workers’ Republic 2 October)
‘In Praise of the Empire’ (Workers’ Republic 9 October)
‘Without Principle’ (Workers’ Republic 9 October)
‘Notes on the Front’ (Workers’ Republic 16 October)
‘To Hell with Contracts’ (Workers’ Republic 16 October)
‘Notes on the Front’ (Workers’ Republic 23 October)
‘The Immorality of Dublin’ (Workers’ Republic 23 October)
‘For the Citizen Army’ (Workers’ Republic 30 October)
‘A War For Civilization’ (Workers’ Republic 30 October)
‘Diplomacy’ (Workers’ Republic 6 November)
‘Recruiting the Irish Citizen Army’ (Workers’ Republic 6 November)
‘Ireland - Disaffected Or Revolutionary’ (Workers’ Republic 13 November)
‘The Returned Emigrants’ (Workers’ Republic 13 November)
‘The Dispute on the Docks - Is it War?’ (Workers’ Republic 20 November)
‘The Manchester Martyrs’ (Workers’ Republic 20 November)
‘Conscription(Workers’ Republic 27 November)
‘Enlist or Starve!’ (Workers’ Republic 27 November)
‘Dublin Trade and Dublin Strikes’ (Workers’ Republic 4 December)
‘Trust Your Leaders!’ (Workers’ Republic 4 December)
‘The Housing Problem from a New Standpoint’ (Workers’ Republic 11 December)
‘Economic Conscription I’ (Workers’ Republic 18 December)
‘Forgive and Forget’ (Workers’ Republic 18 December)
‘Correspondents’ (Workers’ Republic 25 December)
‘Notes on the Front’ (Workers’ Republic 25 December)
‘Two Fateful Christmas Weeks’ (Workers’ Republic 25 December)
‘The Re-Conquest of Ireland (pamphlet, 1915)
1916 ‘A Happy New Year’ (Workers’ Republic 1 January)
‘A Lesson of the Strike’ (Workers’ Republic 8 January)
‘The Volunteers of ’82’ (Workers’ Republic 8 January)
‘Economic Conscription II’ (Workers’ Republic 15 January)
‘The Programme of Labour’ (Workers’ Republic 19 January)
‘What Is Our Programme?’ (Workers’ Republic 22 January)
‘In the Gap of Danger’ (Workers’ Republic 22 January)
‘Notes on the Front’ (Workers’ Republic 5 February)
‘The Slackers I’ (Workers’ Republic 5 February)
‘Cannon Fodder for British Imperialism’ (Workers’ Republic 12 February)
‘Still Fighting’ (Workers’ Republic 12 February)
‘What Is A Free Nation?’ (Workers’ Republic 12 February)
‘Notes on the Front’ (Workers’ Republic 19 February)
‘The Slums and the Trenches’ (Workers’ Republic 26 February)
‘Unemployment in Ireland’ (Workers’ Republic 26 February)
‘Notes on the Front’ (Workers’ Republic 4 March)
‘To the Seafarers of Ireland’ (Workers’ Republic 4 March)
‘The Days of March’ (Workers’ Republic 11 March)
‘The Slackers II’ (Workers’ Republic 11 March)
‘The German or the British Empire?’ (Workers’ Republic 18 March)
‘The National Festival’ (Workers’ Republic 18 March)
‘Notes on the Front’ (Workers’ Republic 18 March)
‘The Slackers III’ (Workers’ Republic 25 March)
‘We Will Rise Again’ (Workers’ Republic 25 March)
‘The Call To Arms’ (Workers’ Republic 1 April)
‘A Cheap Bargain’ (Workers’ Republic 1 April)
‘The Irish Flag’ (Workers’ Republic 8 April)
‘Forces of Civilisation’ (Workers’ Republic 8 April)
‘Irish Trade Union Congress’ (Workers’ Republic 15 April)
‘Notes on the Front’ (Workers’ Republic 15 April)
‘Labour and Ireland’ (Workers’ Republic 22 April)
Last Statement (given to his daughter Nora Connolly on the eve of his execution by the British, 9 May)
Others ‘The Humours of Politics’ (Forward July 26, 1913 and Irish Worker, January 14, 1914, respectively.)
‘Socialism in Ireland’ (The Harp, March, 1908 and Forward, August 16, 1913, respectively.)
‘The Language Movement’ (The Workers’ Republic, October 1, 1898 and The Harp, April, 1908, respectively.)
Posthumous ‘The Watchword of Labour’ (From The Legacy and Songs of Freedom, 1918)
—Available at Marxist.org - online; ed. Einde O’Callaghan, James Joyce Internet Archive [online]; accessed 04.03.2020.

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Bibliographical details
Collected Writings [3 vols], Vol. 1: William O’Brien, ed. & intro., Labour and Easter Week (Dublin: Sign of the Three Candles 1946); Vol. 2: Desmond Ryan, ed. & intro., Socialism and Nationalism: A Selection from the Writings of James Connolly (Dublin: Sign of the Three Candles 1948); Vol. 3: W. McMullen, intro., The Workers’ Republic
(Dublin: Sign of the Three Candles 1951).

Labour in Irish History (1910)
Labour in Irish History (Dublin: Maunsel & Co. 1910) - signed and dedicated to W. Stewart, a Belfast socialist; copy offered for auction at Adam’s [19 June 2016; estimated price €2-3,500.

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Labour in Irish History [1910] (NY Donnelly Press 1919)
—Available at Archive.org - online

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Peter Beresford Ellis, ed., James Connolly: Selected Writings (Harmondsworth: Penguin; NY: New Monthly 1973; London: Pluto 1997)

Pluto edition available at Google Books - online [accessed 01.05.2017 7 03.03.2023].

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Conor McCarthy, The Revolutionary and Anti-Imperialist Writings of James Connolly 1893-1916 (Edinburgh UP 2016), 320pp.

1. The Early Years and the Irish Socialist Republican Party
2. America and the International Workers of the World
3. Labour in Irish History
4. Empire and Revolution
5. The Lock-Out, the First World War, and the Rising
    Coda: Connolly’s Afterlives.

Some library links ...
Labour in Irish History [1910] [available in NY 1919 Donnelly Press edition at Archive.org - online; accessed 11.05.2019].
The Re-conquest of Ireland (1915; rep. 1917) - copy in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics” - via index or as attached.

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  • P. Ó Cathasaigh [Seán O’Casey], The Story of the Citizen Army (1919) [see extract].
  • Desmond Ryan, James Connolly: His Work and Writings (Dublin: Talbot 1924).
  • Father Aloysius, OFM, ‘Easter Week 1916: Personal Recollections’, in Capuchin Annual (1942), c.p.220.
  • R. M. Fox, James Connolly: The Forerunner (Tralee: The Kerryman 1946), 250pp. [ill.; 11 pls.].
  • C. O’Shannon, Fifty Years of Liberty Hall (Dublin: Four Candles Press 1959).
  • C. Desmond Greaves, The Life and Times of James Connolly (London: Lawrence & Wishart 1961).
  • Proinsias Mac an Bheatha, Tart na córa: saol agus saothar Shéamais Uí Chonghaile (Baile Átha Cliath: Foilseacháin Náisiúnta Tta., 1962).
  • Des Ryan, ‘James Connolly’, in John W. Boyle, ed., Leaders and Workers (Cork: [Published for Radio Éireann by] Mercier 1966) [“Nine lectures ... broadcast during the winter of 1961”].
  • Donal Nevin, Connolly Bibliography (Dublin ICTU 1968).
  • Oliver Snoddy, ‘Notes on Literature in Irish Dealing with the Fight for Freedom’, in Éire-Ireland, 3, 2 (Summer 1968), pp. 138-48; p.139.
  • John W. Boyle, ‘Connolly, the Citizen Army and the Rising’, in Kevin B. Nowlan ed., The Making of 1916 (Dublin 1969).
  • Owen Dudley Edwards, The Mind of an Activist: James Connolly (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1971).
  • Samuel Levenson, ‘James Connolly, Unquiet Spirit’, in Éire-Ireland, 6, 4 (Winter 1971), pp.110-17 [see extract].
  • Conor Cruise O’Brien, States of Ireland (London: Hutchinson 1972), pp.89-99 [critique of Connolly’s Marxism].
  • Samuel Levenson, James Connolly (London: Martin Brian & O’Keeffe 1973), 349pp. [leaf, port.].
  • Tom Garvin, Irish Revolutionaries (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1987), pp.135-36 [see extract].
  • B. Ransom, Connolly’s Marxism (London: Pluto Press 1980).
  • Ruth Dudley Edwards, James Connolly (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1981; reiss. 1998), 151pp.
  • David Cairns & Shaun Richards, Writing Ireland: Colonialism, Nationalism and Culture (Manchester UP 1988) [see extract].
  • Austen Morgan, James Connolly: A Political Biography (Manchester UP 1988), x, 244p. [contests Desmond Greaves].
  • Carl Reeve & Ann Barton Reeve, James Connolly and the United States: The Road to the 1916 Irish Rebellion (NJ: Humanities Press 1978).
  • Emmet O’Connor, Syndicalism in Ireland 1917-23 (Cork UP 1988), 208pp.
  • Kieran Allen, The Politics of James Connolly (London: Pluto Press 1990), 206pp. [new edn. 2016, 224pp.].
  • David Fitzpatrick, Revolution?: Ireland 1917-23 (Trinity History Workshop 1990), 173pp.
  • David S. Johnson & Liam Kennedy, ‘Nationalist Historiography and the Decline of the Irish Economy: George O’Brien revisited’, in Ireland’s Histories: Aspects of State, Society and Ideology, ed. Sean Hutton & Paul Stewart, eds. (1991), pp.13-14 [see extract].
  • Austen Morgan, Labour and Partition: The Belfast Working-Class, 1905-23 (London: Pluto Press 1991), xxi, 358pp.
  • Lambert McKenna, The Social Teachings of James Connolly, ed. with commentary and intro. by Thomas J. Morrissey (Dublin : Veritas, 1991), 104pp., ill. [port].
  • Emmet O’Connor, A Labour History of Ireland 1824-1960 (Gill & Macmillan 1992) [see extract].
  • Roy Foster, Paddy and Mr Punch (London: Allen Lane 1993), p.90 [see extract].
  • Barbara Freitag, ‘Literature Rewrites History: James Connolly and James Larkin Larger than Life’, in Journal of Irish Literature, 22 (May 1993), pp.25-38.
  • Conor Cruise O’Brien, Ancestral Voices, Religion and Nationalism in Ireland (Dublin: Poolbeg 1994), p.113.
  • W. K. Anderson, James Connolly and the Irish Left [Studies in Military and Strategic] (Dublin: IAP 1994), 200pp.
  • Declan Kiberd, Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation (London: Jonathan Cape 1995), p.230 [see extract].
  • Nevin, ed., Trade Union Century (Mercier/RTE/ICTU 1995), 471pp.
  • W. N. Anderson, James Connolly and the Irish Left (IAP 1996).
  • Liam Kennedy, ‘The Union of Ireland and Britain, 1801-1921’, in Colonialism, Religion and Nationalism in Ireland (IIS/QUB 1996), [see extract].
  • J. L. Hyland, James Connolly [Life and Times, No. 10] (Hist. Assoc. of Ireland [1997]).
  • Gregory Dobbins, ‘Wherever Green is Red: James Connolly and Postcolonial Theory’, in Nepantha: Views from the South, 1, 3 (2000), pp.605-48.
  • John Newsinger, Rebel City: Connolly and the Dublin Labour Movement (Merlin [UK] 2004), 192pp.
  • Donal Nevin, James Connolly: A Full Life (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 2005), 544 [act. 864]pp.
  • In Éagmais Uí Chonghail: Gluaiseacht na n-oibrithe - gluaiseacht ar strae (BÁC: Comhar 2006) [pamph.]
  • Andy Johnston, James Larragy, & Edward McWilliams [Irish Working Group], ‘James Connolly: A Marxist Analysis’, serialised in Permanent Revolution (July 2006-Aug. 2008) [see details].
  • [...].
  • Bryan Fanning & Tom Garvin, ‘James Connolly, Labour in Irish History (1910)’ in Books That Define Ireland (Sallins: Merrion 2014), Chap. 9.
  • Bryan Fanning, ‘James Connolly and Catholic nationalism’, in Histories of the Irish Future (London: Bloomsbury 2015), pp.131-50 [Chap. 9; partially available at Google Books - online].
  • Paul Buhle, A Full Life: James Connolly the Irish Rebel (PM Press 2016), 42pp. [ill.].
  • Sean Mitchell, A Rebel’s Guide to James Connolly (Bookmarks 2016), q.pp.

Bibiliographical details

Andy Johnston, James Larragy, & Edward McWilliams [Irish Working Group], ‘James Connolly: A Marxist Analysis’, serialised in Permanent Revolution (July 2006-Aug. 2008).
  Introduction & Chapters in Brief online
  Chap. 1: Apprenticeship to Marxism
Chap. 2: The Irish Populist Dimension
Chap. 3: Labour and Nation in Irish History
Chap. 4: The Irish Bourgeois Revolution - Part 1
             The Irish Bourgeois Revolution - Part 2
Chap. 5: Fighting Shy of Religion
Chap. 6: Socialism, Woman and the Family
Chap. 7: The Protestant Working Class - Part 1
             The Protestant Working Class - Part 2
Supplementary - The Genesis of Irish Nationalism - The United Irishmen and the Failed Revolution

Editorial note: The above links provide easy access to successive chapters in successive issues of Permanent Revolution and is based on the index provided in the issue for 10 Aug. 2008 - available online; accessed 28.03.2011.) Chapter 4 contains extensive commentary on Connolly's misapprehension of Wolfe Tone.

Plays about Connolly: John Arden & Margaret D’Arcy, The Non-Stop Connolly Show, 5 vols.(Pluto Press 1977-78); Eoghan Harris, auth. & dir., The Testimony of James Connolly (RTE 1968); Terry Eagleton The White, the Gold, and the Gangrene, in Saint Oscar and Other Plays (Oxford: Blackwell 1997); Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh, James Connolly: A Working Class Hero, dir. by Brian O’Flaherty for Bruno Dog Productions (2013). Note: Connolly is a character in Gerry Hunt’s graphic novel [i.e., comic] about the 1916 Rising, Blood Upon the Rose (O’Brien Press 2009).

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P. Ó Cathasaigh [Seán O’Casey], The Story of the Citizen Army (1919). Chp. X: ‘Connolly Assumes Leadership’, incls. remarks: ‘Under Connolly’s leadership ... The [Volunteer’s] attitude of passive sympathy began to be gradually replaced by an attitude of active unity and co-operation. In their break-away from the Parliamentarian Party ...’ [51] ‘A well-known author has declared that Connolly was the first martyr for Irish Socialism; but Connolly was no more an Irish Socialist martyr than Robert Emmett [sic], P. H. Pearse, or Theobald Wolfe Tone.’ [52; see also under Sheehy-Skeffington, q.v.]. O’Casey was replaced as Secretary by J. Connolly [47]. Note that O’Casey wrote of a play by Connolly performed in Liberty Hall (26 March 1916), the script of which has been lost: ‘A play of his called Under Which Flag? blundered a sentimental way over a stage in the Hall in a green limelight, shot with tinsel stars.’ (Drums Under the Window [q.p.]; cited in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, 1991.)

W. B. Yeats: On 1913: ’Later that night Connolly carries in procession a coffin with the words “British Empire” upon it, and police and mob fight for its ownership, and at last, that the police may not capture it, it is thrown into the Liffey. And there are fights between police and windowbreakers, and I read in the morning papers that many have been wounded; some two hundred heads have been dressed at the hospitals; an old woman killed by batons blows, and or perhaps trampled under the feet of the crowd; and that two thousand pounds’ worth of decorated plate-glass windows have been broken. I count the links in the chain of responsibility, run them across my fingers, and wonder if any link there is from my own workshop.’ (Autobiographies, 195, p.368.)

Samuel Levenson, ‘James Connolly, Unquiet Spirit’, in Éire-Ireland, 6, 4 (Winter 1971), pp.110-17; Notes that Connolly was born in Edinburgh, his father working there as a garbage collector. Forced to leave school at age 10, Connolly worked in a tile shop, a bakery and a printing shop before becoming “too old” for such employment at age 14, whereupon he joined the British army. First saw Ireland as a member of the Second Battalion of the Royal Scots Regiment, stationed for two years at Cork, then 30 miles from Dublin, then in Dublin itself. In Dublin he met Lillie Reynolds, a domestic worker and an Anglican, and deserted, aged 21, to marry her. Settled in Irish slums of Edinburgh, working first as garbage collector, then opening a shoe repair shop to support an increasing family. Left Scotland for Ireland, 1896, spending seven years there working to establish an Irish Socialist Republican Party. Participated (with ISRP and Maud Gonne) in demonstrations against the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign, and also the Boer War. Founded Workers’ Republic, the first of many radical publications, and ran for public office, prompting his opponents to pay for votes and threaten electorate with raised rents should he be elected. (p.112-113) Went to America in 1903 following disputes with his political comrades, writing bitterly, ‘Men have been driven out of Ireland by the British Government, and by the landlords, but I am the first to be driven out by The Socialists’. (p.114) Did not settle well, disliking the climate and much about American culture. Engaged in lengthy feud with De Leon (sometimes called the “’Marxist Pope’’), and had difficulty finding steady employment. Worked in Troy, NY, as an insurance salesman for Metropolitan Life, as a machinist in a Singer sewing machine plant in New Jersey and as a paid organiser for the Industrial Workers of the World and The Socialist Party. Established group of American Socialists of Irish origin and edited its publication, The Harp, later transferring its publication to Dublin. Returned to Dublin carrying texts for Labour in Irish History and Labour, Nationality and Religion. Became Belfast organiser of Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union, 1911, and helped found Irish Labour Party, 1912. Worked to combat the great Dublin Lockout, 1913, and stayed to rebuild the union when Jim Larkin left for America. Never spoke publicly against Larkin, despite their differences. (pp.115-16.) Built Irish Citizen Army in response to postponement of Home Rule Bill. (See descriptions of Connolly by sundry hands, quoted in idem.)

Francis Shaw, S.J., ‘The Canon of Irish History: A Challenge’, in Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, LXI, 242 (Dublin 1972): ‘In Labour in Ireland, Connolly strove to show that all Irish revolutionary efforts had been socialist, and he was satisfied that the Gaelic mode of life was democratic; he apparently believed that the capitalist system had been introduced to Ireland by the [119] British, and that before that disaster there had been no private ownership of the land in Ireland.His book shows that some curious blooms can be grown most successfully in a vacuum.’ (pp.119-20.)

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Tom Garvin, Irish Revolutionaries (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1987): ‘James Connolly, a somewhat isolated and unrepresentative figure among the revolutionaries, has had the effect of making the ideologies of the revolution appear retrospectively more egalitarian than they actually were. The fluence and occasional brilliancy of Connolly’s writings, combined with the new fashion for socialist ideas that emerged in the 1960s, have intensified this effect, as has the refraction of his ideas in Pearse’s later writings. Because both men became martyrs, they have been held to be representative’; in fact, both were to the left of the movement, and it would be difficult to say which was the further away from its centre of gravity [135] although in very different directions. Their prestige was so great that a mildly socialist flavour was given to the Democratic Programme of the first Dáil in 1919.’ (pp.135-56.)

David Cairns & Shaun Richards, Writing Ireland: Colonialism, Nationalism and Culture (Manchester UP 1988), remark: ‘Writing in the Irish socialists’ organ Forward, some months before the great Dublin lock-out of 1913, Connolly took up Marx’s fundamental statement that ‘[the] proletarian movement is the ... movement of the immense majority, in the interests of the immense majority’ and redefined it for contemporary Irish conditions. “Just as The Socialist knows that the working class, being the lowest in the social system, cannot emancipate itself without emancipating all other classes, so the Irish Catholic has to realise that he, being the most oppressed and disfranchised, could not win any modicum of political freedom or social recognition for himself without winning it for all others in Ireland” (quoted in Bernard Ransom, Connolly’s Marxism, Pluto Press 1980, p.24). ‘[...] The compulsion that would-be leaders were under to conform to certain unyielding requirements - Catholicism, familism and parliamentarism - ensured that just as in metropolitan-colonial relations the rules of discourse favoured the colonial power, within the people-nation the rules of discourse ensured the dominance of the parliamentarism of the UIL. / Connolly’s attempt to align socialist and Catholicism were augmented by his supportive gestures towards the members of the Gaelic League. In particular, in Labour in Irish History, he sought to produce a perspective in which, in keeping with the League’s enthusiasm, the ancient Gaels were seen as socially co-operative, holding property communally with democratically elected chiefs [of] society ideal in its time and only gradually destroyed by the Norman invaders.’ The authors further remark that Connolly’s view of Larkin’s experience convinced him that his approach was more likely to bear fruit. [96-7]. Of Connolly in 1900: ‘the man who is bubbling over with love and enthusiasm for “Ireland” and can yet pass unmoved through our streets and witness all the wrong and suffering, the shame and degradation wrought upon the people of Ireland, aye, wrought by Irishmen upon Irish men and women, without burning to end it, is ... a draud and a liar in his heart, no matter how he loves that combination of chemical elements which he is pleased to call “Ireland”’ (Selected Writings, ed. Peter Beresford-Ellis, 1973, p.38; here p.97.)

David S. Johnson & Liam Kennedy, ‘Nationalist Historiography and the Decline of the Irish Economy: George O’Brien revisited’, in Sean Hutton & Paul Stewart, eds., Ireland’s Histories: Aspects of State, Society and Ideology (1991): ‘[T]here was striking economic progress under Grattan’s Parliament was virtually an article of faith among nationalist writers [...] This belief has strong political resonance since it dovetailed neatly with contemporary economic arguments for Home Rule. Prevailing ideas on the subject were seriously questioned for the first time by Scottish-born socialist, James Connolly, in the course of a blistering attack on “parliamentarian historians”. In his highly original Labour in Irish History, published in 1910, he exclaimed, “The prosperity of Ireland under Grattan’s Parliament was almost as little due to that Parliament as the dust caused by the revolution of the coach-wheel was due to the presence of the fly who, sitting on the coach, viewed the dust, and fancied himself the author thereof.” (Three Candles ed., 1951, p.42). Connolly was sceptical of any gains in the living standards of the poor [...]. Not surprisingly, George O’Brien took issue with Connolly’s attempt to revise nationalist orthodoxy [in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, p.406]. Connolly returned from American in 1910 with his pamphlet Socialism Made Easy. Connolly was at pains to oppose the total hostility to political (ie non-industrial) action that he had found among American syndicalists. He fought elections, supporting women’s right to the vote and Ireland’s right to independence. [...] Connolly and Frederick Ryan in the Independent Labour party of Ireland.’ (p.13-14.)

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Emmet O’Connor, A Labour History of Ireland 1824-1960 (Gill & Macmillan 1992), remarks that the originality lies not solely in his conceptual framework but in specific points of interpretation as well, from his strictures on Connolly’s lack of views on the Irish Land question to those on the ITUC of 1894-1907 as nothing but a treacherous illusion. [thus quoted in The Irish Times, Jan. 1992.]

R. F. Foster, Paddy and Mr Punch (London: Allen Lane 1993), writes: ‘Connolly was a Marxist, but rather than completing capitalism’s contradictions, he wanted Ireland to revert t the purity of a pre-capitalist order and to rediscover the potential communal organisation which was, in his opinion, part of the Irish national psyche. A rupture with Britain would entail the rediscovery of social and economic innocence. Thus Connolly’s socialism is very closely linked to Gaelic Revivalism enabling him to see the peasants of the west as future soldiers in an economic class war –an unlikely prospect, looked at from any other angle.’ (p.90.)

Conor Cruise O’Brien, Ancestral Voices, Religion and Nationalism in Ireland (Dublin: Poolbeg 1994), writes of Connolly’s slipping under the influence of Patrick Pearse of whom he formerly called ‘nothing so new-fangled as a socialist or syndicalist [but] old-fashioned enough to be both a Catholic and a Nationalist’ in Oct. 1913. (p.113.)

Declan Kiberd, Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation (London: Jonathan Cape 1995), arguing that Connolly was right in seeing nationalism as a necessary preface to socialism in Ireland (along with Marx and Engels), and regards the delay of socialism as a consequence of the continuance of the national agenda under conditions of all-Ireland partition: ‘social revolution was prevented by a fixation upon the politics of partition’ (p.230).

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Liam Kennedy, ‘The Union of Ireland and Britain, 1801-1921’, in Colonialism, Religion and Nationalism in Ireland (IIS/QUB 1996): ‘Connolly continues [in Labour in Irish History] his analysis by pouring scorn on the views of the ‘Parliamentary historians’ with respect to the supposed effects of increased absenteeism after the Union. The decline of the woollen and leather industries, for example, had far deeper causes. ‘Were the members of the Irish parliament and the Irish landlords the only wearers of shoes in Ireland?’ Why did British manufacturers continue to supply the Irish market, whereas the Irish manufacturers did not? Did the latter really have to ‘shut up shop and go to the poor house because My Lord Rackrent, and his immediate personal following had moved to London?’ (Collected Works, 1987, I, p.62.)

Liam Kennedy, Colonialism, Religion and Nationalism in Ireland (1996) - cont.: Connolly proceeds to argue the paradox that the weakness of Irish manufacturers was a cause, not a consequence, of the Union on the Marxist grounds that a strong capitalist class would have reformed the parliamentary system and extended the franchise. This would have produced an electorate and parliament that would never have agreed to the Act of Union; an interesting counterfactual hypothesis, though one begging a large number of questions. (&c.; p.57.) [Cont.]

Cont. (Kennedy, Colonialism, Religion and Nationalism in Ireland, 1996): Kennedy further notices that Connolly rejected Griffith’s protectionism (in ‘Sinn Féin, socialism and the nation’, Coll. Works, i, p.369), and quotes his ‘insufficient’ [Kennedy] explanation for Irish industrial decline in the nineteenth century that ‘Lots of important industries have disappeared from Ireland because Irish employers were encouraged’ by whom he does not say - ‘to refuse to treat their workers in a humane and reasonable fashion and so lost their trade to British competitors’. British capital had ‘grown up and had assumed the responsibility of the adult, but Irish capital is still immature and has all the defects of the “hobble-de-hoy”, not big enough to be a man and too big to be a boy.’ (‘Dublin Trade and Dublin Strikes’, in Coll. Works, ii, p.364-65.)

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See full-text version of The Re-conquest of Ireland (1915; rep. 1917) in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics” - via index or direct.

Socialism and Religion
It is not Socialism but capitalism that is opposed to religion; capitalism is social cannibalism, the devouring of man by man, and under capitalism those who have the most of the pious attributes which are required for a truly deeply religious nature are the greatest failurs with the heaviest sufferers. / Religion, I hope, is not bound up with a system founded on buying human labour in the cheapest market, and selling its products in the dearesst; when the organize Socialist working class tramples upon the capitalist class it will not be trampling upon a pillar of God's Church but upon a blasphemous defiler of the Sanctuary, it will be rescuing the Faith from the impious vermin who made it noisome to the really religious men and women.
In The Harp (Jan. 1909); quote in Peter Berresford Ellis, James Connolly: Selected Writings (Penguin 1973; Pluto 1997), p.41.

‘Governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class.’ (Irish Worker, 29 Aug. 1915; rep. in James Connolly: Selected Writings, ed. Peter Beresford Ellis, London: Pluto 1997, p.248.)
‘If these men must die, would it not be better to die in their own country fighting for the freedom of their class, and for the abolition of war, than to go forth to strange countries and die slaughtering and [being] slaughtered by their brothers brothers that tyrants and profiteers might live?’ (15 August 1914; meme cited by William Wall in Facebook, 12.11.2018.)
“Capitalism teaches people the moral conception of cannibalism. It's theory of the world of men and women is that of a glorified pig-trough, where the biggest swine get the most swill.” [q. source.]

Bourgeois-nationalism: ‘If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of The Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain.’ (Selected Writings, ed. Peter Berrisford Ellis, NY & London: Monthly Review, 1973, p124.)

Cause and cure: ‘But deep in the heart of Ireland has sunk the sense of degradation wrought upon its people – a degradation so deep and so humiliating that no agency less powerful than the red tide of war in Irish soil will ever be able to enable the Irish race to recover its self-respect ... Without the slightest trace of irreverence but in all humility and awe, we recognise that of us, as of mankind before Calvary, it may truly be said, without the shedding of Blood there is no Redemption’ (quoted in Desmond Greaves, The Life and Times of James Connolly, pp.318-19; cited in Conor Cruise O’Brien, Ancestral Voices, Religion and Nationalism in Ireland, Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1994, p.113.)

Irish freedom: ‘The struggle for Irish freedom [he wrote] has two aspects: it is national and social. Its national ideal can never be realised until Ireland stands forth before the world a nation free and independent. It is social and economic, because no matter what the form of government may be, as long as one class owns as private property the land and instruments of labour from which all mankind derive their substance, that class will always have power to plunder and enslave the remainder of their fellow creatures.... The party which would lead the Irish people from bondage to freedom must then recognise both aspects of the long continued struggle of the Irish nation.’ (Connolly, Socialism and Nationalism, 1948; quoted in Peter Costello, The Heart Grown Brutal: The Irish Revolution in Literature from Parnell to the Death of W. B. Yeats, 1891-1939, Gill & Macmillan 1977, p.70.) Further, ‘A Resurrection! Aye, out of the grave of the first Irishman or woman murdered for protesting against Ireland’s participation in this thrice accursed war will arise anew the Spirit of Irish Revolution ... If you strike at, imprison or kill us, out of our graves we will evoke a spirit that will thwart you and, mayhap, raise a force that will destroy you.’ (Connolly, in Irish Worker, Dublin 19 Dec. 1914; Costello, op. cit., 1977, p.72 -noting resemblance to Pearse’s rhetoric.)

The Irish peasant in too many cases treated his daughter in much the same manner as he regarded a plough or a spade – as tools with which to work the farm ... growing up in this atmosphere the women of Ireland accepted their position of social inferiority [... //] The militant women, without abandoning their fidelity to duty, are yet teaching their sisters to assert their rights’ (Connolly 1914; cited in Rona M. Fields, A Society on the Run: A Pyschology of Northern Ireland, Penguin 1973).

The epic of Dublin”: ‘When that story is written by a Man or a Woman with honesty in their hearts and with a sympathetic insight into the travails of the poor, it will be a record of which Ireland may be proud.’ (The Irish Worker, 28 Nov. 1914; quoted in W. P. Ryan, The Irish Labour Movement in the ’Twenties to Our Own Day, Talbot; Fisher Unwin 1919, p.234; cited in Godeleine Carpentier, ‘Dublin and the Drama of Larkinism, James Plunkett’s Strumpet City’, pp.209-17, p.209.)

Anglo-Irish Literature: ‘In the reconversion of Ireland to the Gaelic principle of common ownership by a people of their sources of food and maintenance[,] the worst obstacle to overcome will be the opposition of men and women who have imbibed their ideas of Irish character and history from Anglo-Irish literature. That literature, as we have explained, was born into the worst agonies of the slavery of our race, it bears all the birth marks of such origin in it, but irony of ironies, these birth-marks of slavery are hailed by our teachers as “the native characteristics of the Celt”! Hence we believe that this book attempting to depict the attitude of the dispossessed masses of the Irish people in the great crisis of modern Irish history, may justly be looked upon as part of the literature of the Gaelic revival’ (Labour in Irish History, p.6; quoted in Patrick Sheeran, The Novels of Liam O’Flaherty, Dublin: Wolfhound 1976, p.207.)

First Principles: ‘First that in the evolution of civilisation the progress of the fight for national liberty of any subject nation must, perforce, keep with the progress of the struggle for liberty of the most subject class of that nation [.../]. Second, that the result of the long drawn out struggle of Ireland has been, so far, that the old chieftainry has disappeared, or, through its degenerate descendants, has made terms with iniquity, and become part and parcel of the supporters of the established order; the middle-class, growing up on the midst of the national struggle, and at one time, as in 1798, through the stress of the economic rivalry of England almost forced into the position of revolutionary leaders against the political despotism of their industrial competitors, have now also bowed the knee to Baal, and have a thousand economic strings in the shape of investments binding them to English capitalism as against every sentimental or historical attachment drawing them towards Irish patriotism; only the Irish working class remain as the incorruptible inheritors of the fight for freedom in Ireland.’ (Labour in Irish History, p.8; quoted in Sheeran, op. cit. 1976, p.209.)

Politics of partition: ‘North and South will again clasp hands, again will it be demonstrated, as in ’98, that the pressure of a common exploitation can make enthusiastic rebels out of a Protestant working class, earnest champions of civil and religious liberty out of Catholics, and out of both a united social democracy.’ (Quoted in Peter Berresford Ellis, A History of the Irish Working Class, Pluto [1985] 1996, p.342; no source.)

Needs of the hour: ‘[W]e will have based our revolutionary movement upon a correct appreciation of the needs of the hour, as well as upon the vital principles of economic justice and uncompromising nationality.’ (Erin’s Hope: The End and the Means, 1897, p.25; quoted in Peter Kuch, ‘Writing Easter 1916’, in Transactions of the Princess Grace Irish Library Conference, May-June 1998.)

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Capitalism and the Irish Small Farmers (from The Harp, Nov. 1909)

Internationalism is not an invention of socialists. As socialism itself has sprung out of the combinations of modern society, and as the international organisation of labour and the international scope of commerce are but manifestations of these conditions, so the internationalism of The Socialist movement simply reflects the development of society at large.
 For example: Certain ignorant people in Ireland, (politicians and such like) claim that Ireland should have no concern with matters other than Home Rule, land reform and taxes, and other matters adjustable within the four seas of Erin. To such people I recommend a study of the following cutting from an American capitalist paper.
 Then let him remember that one of the chief industries in Ireland today is the rearing and exportation of cattle for the English market, and that tens of thousands of people are dependent upon that for a livelihood.
 The American Beef Trust has taken an important step toward securing complete control of the London refrigerated meat trade. A powerful shipping combination backed by the Beef Trust has been organised here to provide fast steamships to bring refrigerated meat from Argentina carrying only beef controlled by the trust, which hopes to freeze out all independent shippers from Argentina.
 Regular weekly service between London and the Plate river will be maintained, for which nine fifteen-knot steamships are to be built.
 Owing to the decrease in supplies from the United States, England is becoming daily more dependent on Argentina for her meat supply. The Plate river trade has been controlled hitherto by two independent firms, both English and South American.
 In the past few years the trust has been endeavouring to get a foothold in Argentina and has absorbed two important firms here.
 The recent enormous issue of new capital by the Chicago ‘big Four’ is designed to be used to capture the Argentina trade. The trust has enormous holdings here already, owning a large number of stalls in Smithfield market, and some hundreds of shops in different parts of the country.
 Now, just as a lesson in economics, figure out how far-reaching will be the effect of that deal when it is completed. It means that there is a capitalist concern in Chicago which has hundreds of stores or shops in Great Britain, large number of stalls in Smithfield market, London, great refrigerators and enormous castles ranges in the Argentine Republic, and will have a complete service of steamships plying between Europe and America solely for its own use. It employs thousands of workers in England, in the United States and South America, it operates under the flags of three independent nations, a monarchy and two republics; and in all three countries it builds up its trade by underselling and ruining the small merchant.
 Now turn to its effect upon Ireland. I have already spoken of the tens of thousands of people who in Ireland are dependent upon the cattle trade. This living is menaced by the competition of the Beef Trust, and nothing within the purview of Irish politicians can save them.
 There is another angle from which this situation can be approached. For some time in Ireland there has been an agitation against the huge grazing farms. It has been felt - and rightly - that the land so given up to cattle would be better occupied by human beings. That it were better to see thriving men and women and children, and happy homes than to see sheep and cows.
 But sheep and cows paid better than men and women, and hence despite the unpopularity of the grazier he stayed and waxed fat and prosperous, and the Irish men and women came to America, some to spread the Catholic faith, and more to fester and rot in the slums, to populate the brothels and the jails, or to die overworked and miserable among strangers. As long as cattle raising pays better than raising Christian men and women it will flourish in Ireland as elsewhere.
 Now comes along the Beef Trust with its elaborately organised machinery of competition to bring the product of Argentine Republic to compete with the grazing farms of Meath and Kildare, and I make the prophecy that if this trust succeeds in its designs cattle raising in Ireland will be unprofitable. And if it becomes unprofitable to raise cattle for the London market then the Irish grazier and his landlord will become convinced of the error of their ways, and the farms will be let for tillage purposes to the people now clamouring in vain for their possession.
 Is it not calculated to provide thought, even in a politician, that the chances of some Irish peasants getting farms in Ireland depend upon the success of the Beef Trust in conquering the markets of the Argentine Republic?
 In like manner the question of whether Irish peasants are paying too much or too little for their farms under the new Land Acts does not depend upon the quality of their lands so much as it depends upon agricultural prices, and agricultural prices depend upon the development of transatlantic steam service bringing the product of the mammoth farms of the United States and South America to Europe. Every Lusitania which shortens the distance between Europe and America hastens the doom of the petty farmers of Ireland under the capitalist system. But to study those things savours of internationalism, and internationalism, according to the amadán politicians, is “so un-Irish.”

—Available at Marxist.org - online; transcribed by the James Connolly Society [online], 1997; accessed 04.03.2020.

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Socialism & religion: ’In its march towards freedom, the working class must cheer on the efforts of those women who, feeling on their souls and bodies the fetters of the ages, have arisen to strike them off, and cheer all the louder if in its hatred of thraldom and passion for freedom, the women’s army forges ahead of the militant army of labour. But whosoever carries the outworks of the citadel of oppression, the working class alone can raze it to the ground.’ (Collected Works, Vol. 1, p.244.) ’Socialism, as a party, bases itself upon its knowledge of facts, of economic truths, and leaves the building up of religious ideals or faiths to the outside public, or to its individual members if they so will. It is neither Freethinker, nor Christian, Turk nor Jew, Buddhist nor Idolater, Mohammedan nor Parsee - it is only human. (Ibid., p.238.) ’Socialists are bound as socialists only to the acceptance of one great principle - the ownership and control of wealth-producing power by the state, and that therefore, totally antagonistic interpretations of the Bible, or of prophecy and revelation, theories of marriage and of history may be held by socialists without in the slightest degree interfering with their activities as such or with their proper classification as supporters of The Socialist doctrine.’ (Ibid., p.383-84.) ’For myself, though I have usually posed as a Catholic, I have not gone to my duty for 15 years, and have not the slightest tincture of faith left. I only assumed the Catholic pose in order to quize the raw freethinkers, whose ridiculous dogmatism did and does dismay me, as much as the dogmatism of the Archbishop. In fact I respect the good Catholic more than the average free-thinker.’ (Letter to John Matheson, 30 January 1908.) [The foregoing all quoted in Liam O Ruairc, ’Connolly on Religion, Sex and Dissent’, in The Blanket: A Journal of Protest and Dissent, 23 May 2003 [link].)

Religion reinstated: ‘Religion, I hope, is not bound up with a system founded on buying human labour in the cheapest market, and selling its product in the dearest; when the organised Socialist working class tramples upon the capitalist class it will not be trampling upon a pillar of God’s Church but upon a blasphemous defiler of the Sanctuary, it will be rescuing the Faith from the impious vermin who make it noisome to the really religious men and women.’ (The Harp, Jan. 1901; cited in Kuch, op. cit., 1998.)

Anti-religion: ‘The Socialist Party of Ireland prohibits the discussion of theological or anti-theological questions at its meetings, public or private. This is in conformity with the practice of the chief Socialist parties of the world, which have frequently, in Germany for example, declared Religion to be a private matter, and outside the scope of Socialist action. Modern Socialism, in fact, as it exists in the minds of its leading exponents, and as it is held and worked for by an increasing number of enthusiastic adherents throughout the civilised world, has an essentially material, matter-of-fact foundation. We do not mean that its supporters are necessarily materialists in the vulgar, and merely anti-theological, sense of the term, but that they do not base their Socialism upon any interpretation of the language or meaning of Scripture, nor upon the real or supposed intentions of a beneficent Deity. They as a party neither affirm or deny those things, but leave it to the individual conscience of each member to determine what beliefs on such questions they shall hold.’ (Connolly, The New Evangel in Erin’s Hope: The End and the Means [1897] and The New Evangel: Preached to Irish Toilers [1901], intro. Joseph Deasy, Dublin & Belfast: New Books Publications 1968, p.33; cited in Peter Kuch, ‘Writing the 1916 Rising’, in Transactions of the Princess Grace Irish Library Conference, Whitsun 1998.)

The Irish Famine: ‘No man who accepts capitalist society and the laws thereof can logically find fault with the statesmen of England for their acts in that awful period. They stood for the rights of property and free competition and philosophically accepted the consequences upon Ireland; the leaders of the Irish people also stood for the rights of property and refused to abandon them even when they saw the consequences in the slaughter by famine of over a million of the Irish toilers.’ (Labour in Irish History, 1910; q.p.)

Easter 1916: ‘[...] Connolly came down the stairs and spoke to us on the landing. Putting his head close to mine, and dropping his voice he said, “We are going out to be slaughtered.” “Is there no chance of success?”, I said, and he replied “None whatever”.’ (Labour in Easter Week, [q.d.], p.21; cited in Léon Ó Bróin, Protestant Nationalists in Revolutionary Ireland, 1985, p.81.)

End of Empire: ‘ [...] And what about the war? Well, I think it is the beginning of the end. This great, blustering British Empire; this Empire of truculent bullies, is rushing headlong to its doom. Whether they ultimately win or lose, the Boers have pricked the bubble of England’s fighting reputation. The world knows her weakness now. Have at her, then everywhere and always and in every manner. And before the first decade of the coming century will close, you and I, if we survive, will be able to repeat to our children the tale of how this monstrous tyranny sank in dishonour and disaster.’ (‘ The South African War, II’, in Workers’ Republic, 18 Nov. 1899 [link].)

World War I: ‘The war for civilization is waged by a nation like Britain which holds in thrall a sixth of the human race, and holds as a cardinal doctrine of its faith that none of its subject races may, under penalty of imprisonment and death, dream of ruling their own territories. A nation which believes that all races are subject to purchase, and which brands as perfidy the act of any nation which, like Bulgaria, chooses to carry its wares and its arms to any other than a British market. [...] Civilization cannot be built upon slaves; civilization cannot be secured if the producers are sinking into misery; civilization is lost if they whose labour makes it possible share so little of its fruits that its fall can leave them no worse than its security. [...] Truly, labour alone in these days is fighting the real war for civilization.’ (‘A War for Civilisation’, Workers’ Republic 30 Oct. 1915 [link].)

Pro-German: ‘The German nation is fighting a necessary fight for the saving of civilisation in Europe.’ (Quoted in Maurice Headlam, Irish Reminiscences (London: Robert Hale 1947), p.153 [see further - infra].

Connolly on Ireland without the Irish (July 1900):

Ireland without her people is nothing to me, and the man who is bubbling over with love and enthusiasm for ‘Ireland’, and can yet pass unmoved through our streets and witness all the wrong and the suffering, the shame and the degradation wrought upon the people of Ireland, aye, wrought by Irishmen upon Irishmen and women, without burning to end it, is, in my opinion, a fraud and a liar in his heart, no matter how he loves that combination of chemical elements which he is pleased to call ‘Ireland’.

If you are proud of the children who responded to the call of their country, and passed unheeded the seductions of the tyrant, then bestir yourselves to win for them a right to live in that country, a right to enjoy its beauties, and revel in its abundance, irrespective of the wishes of any employer or landlord.

When Socialism is realised every child in our Irish soil will by the mere fact of its existence be an heir to, and partner in, all the country produces; will have the same right to an assured existence as the citizen has today to his citizenship - in fact that will then be the right of citizenship, the right to live in the country, and the right to enjoy those fruits of labour the country will yield to its children.

Irish Republic (mid-July 1900; posted on Facebook by Thomas MCcCarthy (10.07.2020.)

Manifesto [handbill] circulated on the visit of King George V to Dublin in 1911

The future of the working class requires that all political and social position should be open to all men and women; that all privileges of birth or wealth be abolished, and that every man or woman born into this land should have an equal opportunity to attain to the proudest position in the land. The Socialist demands that the only birthright necessary to qualify public office should be the birthright of our common humanity. Believeing as we do that there is nothing on earth more sacred than humanity, we deny al allegiance to this institution of royalty. A people mentally poisoned by the adulation of royality can never attain to the spirit of self-reliant democracy necessary for the attainment of social freedom. The mind accustomed to political kings can easily be reconciled to social kinds - capitalist kings of the workshop, the mill, the reailway, the ships and the docks [...]Monarchyis a survival of the tyranny imposed by the hand of greed and treachery upon the human race in the darkest and most ignorant days of our history. It derives its only sanction from the sword of the marauder, and the helplessness of the producer, and its gifts to humanity are unknown, save as they can be measured in the pernicious example of triumphant and shameless iniquities.
&bnsp;Felow workers, stand by the dignity of your class. All these parading royalties, all this insolant aristocracy, all these grovelling dirt-earting capitalist traitors, all these are but signs of disease in any social state - diseases which a royal visit brings to a head and spews in all its nastiness before our horrified eyes [...] A royal visit may help us to understand and understaning, help us to know how to destroy the royal, aristocractic and capitalistic classes who live upon our labour. Their workshops, their lands, their mills, their factories, their ships, their railways must be voted into our hands who alone use them, public ownership must take the place of capitalist ownership, social democracy replace political and social inequality, the sovereignty of labour must supersede and destroy the sovereignty of birth and the monarchy of capitalism.
&bnsp;Ours be the task to enlighten the ignorant among our class, to dissipate and destroy the political and social superstitutions of the enslaved masses and to hasten the coming days when, in the words of Joseph Brennanm the fearless patriot of 48, all the world will maintain -

The Right Divine of Labour
To be the first of earthly things;
That the Thinker and the Worker
Are Manhood's only Kings.

—Quoted in Donal Nevin, James Connolly, A Full Life: A Biography of Ireland’s Renowned Trade (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 2006), q.pp. - available online; accessed 04.03.2020....

Connolly on the death of Keir Hardie (1915):
By the death of Comrade James Keir Hardie labour has lost one of its most fearless and incorruptible champions, and the world one of its highest minded and purest souls. It is not easy for us who knew him long and personally to convey to the reader how much of a loss his taking away is to the labour movement. We feel it with the keenness of a personal loss. James Keir Hardie was to the labour movement a prophetic anticipation of its own possibilities. He was a worker, with all the limitations from which no worker ever completely escapes, and with potentialities and achievements such as few workers aspire after, but of which each worker may be the embodiment.
 James Keir Hardie himself was ever too modest to say, but we who were his comrades often thought, that he was a living proof of the truth of the idea that labour could furnish in its own ranks all that was needed to achieve its own emancipation, the proof that labour needed no heaven-sent saviour from the ranks of other classes. He had been denied the ordinary chances of education, he was sent to earn his living at the age of seven, he had to educate himself in the few hours he could snatch from work and sleep, he was blacklisted by the employers as soon as he gave vent to the voice of labour in his district, he had to face unemployment and starvation in his early manhood and when he began to champion politically the rights of his class he found every prostitute journalist in these islands throwing mud at his character, and defaming his associates.
 Yet he rose through it all, and above it all, never faltered in the fight, never failed to stand up for truth and justice as he saw it, and as the world will yet see it.
 When the vultures of capital descended upon Dublin, resolved to make Dublin the grave of the new unionism, James Keir Hardie was one of the first to take his stand in the gap of danger by our sides. And when many of our friends weakened or were led astray, in the midst of the clamour of reviling tongues, and rising above it, we could always catch the encouraging accents of James Keir Hardie bidding the Dublin fighters to stand fast.  And when the latest great iniquity was being rushed upon the world, and the contending hosts of Europe were being marshalled by their masters for the work of murder, James Keir Hardie stood resolutely for peace and brotherhood among the nations - refusing to sanction the claim of the capitalist class of any nation to be the voice of the best interests of that nation.  May the earth rest lightly over his bosom.
Q. source; posted on Facebook by William Wall (25.09.2018.) [here re-paragraphed.]

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2, selects ‘Ireland Before the Conquest’, from Erin’s Hope (1896) [err. for 1897], pamphlet expressing idea of a form of primitive communism in pre-colonial Ireland [985-87], ‘Socialism and Revolutionary Tradition’, editorial from The Worker’s Republic
, 26 June 1900, criticising a constant harkening back to the past [988-89], and notes [119, 211, 278, 512, 513, 702n, 807, 953, 954, 1019, 1023, 1026, 1134n. FDA3 selects Socialism and Nationalism, ‘Parnellism and Labour’; ‘Sinn Fein, Socialism and the Nation’; ‘North East Ulster’; A Continual Revolution; ‘A War for Civilisation’; ‘The Irish Flag’ [718-33]; BIOG [FDA3 810]. Bibliography lists Labour in Ireland [sic err. for Labour in Irish History (Dublin 1920 edn.); A Socialist and War 1914-1916 (London 1941); Labour and Easter Week (Dublin 1949); also Desmond Ryan, ed., Labour an Easter Week, Selected Writings of Connolly (1949); Boyle, The Irish Labour Movement in the Nineteenth Century (Wash: Cath. of America UP 1988), 384pp.; James Connolly, Workshop Talks (Cork Workers’ Club 1989), 20pp.; Connolly, William Walker, The Connolly-Walker Controversy on Socialist Unity in Ireland (Cork Workers’ Club 1989), 28pp; also Connolly, the Polish Aspect, a review of James Connolly’s political and spiritual affinity with Joseph Pilsudski leader of the Polish Socialist party organiser the Polish legions and founder of the Polish state (Athol 1989) [BNB 1989; no ISBN; Dewey 320.5]; R. L. McKenna, The Social Teachings of James Connolly (Dublin: CTS 1920); rep. Lambert McKenna, The Social Teachings of James Connolly (?1991).]

Emerald Isle Books (Cat. No. 95), lists Labour in Irish History (Dublin: Maunsel 1910), signed 1st edn. to a Belfast Protestant intellectual socialist [£50]; Towards the One Big Union: The Axe to the Root (Dublin: ITGWU 1934), new edn., 39pp.; Labour and Easter Week, ed. D. Ryan (Dublin: Three Candles 1949); Labour in Ireland, Labour in Irish History and The Reconquest of Ireland (Dublin: Three Candles n.d.); Labour in Ireland, intro. by Robert Lynd (Dublin: ITGWU 1944), 346pp.; The Worker’s [sic] Republic, ed. Desmond Ryan, intro. William McMullen (Dublin: Three Candles 1951); Socialism and Nationalism, intro. and notes by D. Ryan (Dublin: Three Candles n.d.).

University of Ulster Library (Morris Collection) holds Labour in Ireland; Labour in Irish History; The Reconquest of Ireland (Maunsel 1917).

Website: An extensive archive of his writings, mostly from Workers’ Republic is available at Marxist Writers Internet Archive [link].

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Birthplace: Cowgate, as it was called, was a densely packed parish with 14,000 Irish immigrants, packed into horrific slum dwellings, inone tight square mile. In the Cow tenements (later the birthplace of Jarnes Connolly) where disease was rampant, more ’200 Irish lived on one stair, alongide pigs and goats. Not surprisingly, it was a hotbed of Fenian activity. (See Niamh O’Sullivan, ‘The Mystery of the Lost Painting [Aloysius O’Kelly’s Mass in a Connemara Cabin, 1883]’, in The Irish Times, Weekend, 2 Nov. 2002, p.6.)

Sketches: Joseph Holloway description of Connolly as ’a stout-built block of a fellow in a bowler hat. [...] There was a good deal of the Irish-American about him, and he looked a determined bit of goods.’ Louie Bennett, meeting him shortly before the Rising found him ‘utterly lacking in geniality ... dour and hard ... capable of deadly and merciless hatred’, although she admitted that he was one of the best speakers on behalf of women’s sufferage and women’s rights that she had ever heard. (Quoted in ibid., p.116.)

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn remembered ’the pathetic picture that short, stocky, poorly clad, squint-eyed Connolly made as he stood outside Cooper Union in New York City selling copies of The Harp.’ (All quoted in Samuel Levenson, ‘James Connolly, Unquiet Spirit’, in Éire-Ireland, 6, 4, Winter 1971, pp.110-17 [as supra], p.16.)

Socialist Labor Party (USA): Wikipedia writes - ‘The Socialist Labour Party was a socialist political party in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1903 as a splinter from the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) by James Connolly, Neil Maclean and SDF members impressed with the politics of the American socialist Daniel De Leon, a Marxist theoretician and leading figure of The Socialist Labor Party of America. After decades of existence as a tiny organisation, the group was finally disbanded in 1980.’ (Available online; accessed 11.05.2019.)

We serve Neither King Nor Kaiser
Irish Volunteers Mobilisation 1916
[ The right-hand image enlarged on a a separate page - as attached ]

Nora Connolly O’Brien [1]: Connolly’s daughter - Nora Connolly O’Brien - wrote biographical studies under the titles Portrait of a Rebel Father (London: Rich and Cowan; Dublin: Talbot 1935), rep. as James Connolly: Portrait of a Rebel Father, preface by Robert Lynd (Dublin: Four Masters 1975), 327pp., and We Shall Rise Again (London: Mosquito 1981).

Nora Connolly [2], James Connolly's daughter, took over as Paymaster General for the Provisional Irish Republican Army when Margaret Skinnider was arrested and imprisoned for the possession of a revolver on 26 Dec. 1922. Connolly herself was arrested in 1923. (See Scotland and the Easter Rising: Fresh Perspectives on 1916, ed. Kirsty Lusk & Willy Maley ([Scotland:] Luath Press 2016) - Chronology; available on Amazon books - online; accessed 22.01.2022] Note: Skinnider was author of Doing My Bit for Ireland (1917).

Nora Connolly [3] - Letter to Mary Colum: There is a letter in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library [NYPL], seemingly by a Miss N. Harvey, posted from an address at 79 Grosvenor Rd., Belfast and taken to be written by a relative of the recipient Mary Colum but actually by Nora Connolly, in which she speaks of plans to leave Ireland for America after her father’s execution and records, among his last words, his plea to his family to leave and live abroad among friends, asking Colum to contact their mutual friends in America to inform them of the family’s decision. (See Nicholas Allen, ‘A Turn-up for the Book in New York’ [“A Scholar’s Summer”], in The Irish Times, 8 Aug. 2009, Weekend, p.11.)

Roddy Connolly (1901-1980), Connolly’s son, was a lifetime member of The Socialist movement and Chairman of the Labour Party of Ireland, 1971-78. According to Charlie McGuire (Roddy Connolly and the Struggle for Socialism in Ireland, Cork UP 2007) he eventually sided with anti-Republican and anti-left elements in the working-class movement in Northern Ireland and was - ‘an activist who did make a considerable contribution to the struggle for socialism in Ireland, before ultimately leaving that struggle behind him’.

Seán O’Faoláin held Connolly responsible for ‘the grand delusion [of the] Gaelic mystique’. (Cited in Edna Longley, ‘Progressive Bookmen: Left-wing Politics and Ulster Protestant Writers’, in The Living Stream: Literature and Revisionism in Ireland, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe 1994, pp.112-13.)

Patrick MacGill writes of one Connoly [sic] who ‘gave his life for an ideal’, in his War-of-Independence novel, Maureen (London: H. Jenkins 1920).

Connolly Papers: National Library of Ireland holds collection of papers by and relating to Connolly, deposited by life-long friend William O’Brien [q.v.], Connolly’s successor as general secretary of the Irish Transport Worker’s Union.

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