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Connolly, James

Connolly, James (1868–1916). Author and union leader, Connolly was the most important Irish socialist in an intellectual and organizational sense. Though unsuccessful in an attempt to reconcile socialism and nationalism, he remains a great influence in Ireland and Scotland. Born in Edinburgh, Connolly joined the British army. Self-educated, he became a socialist organizer in Belfast and Dublin, founding the Irish Socialist Republican Party 1896 and ‘the Workers’ Republic' 1898. From 1902 to 1910 he was in the USA, where he set up the Irish Socialist Federation and published the Harp. Returning to Ireland in 1910, he organized the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union with James Larkin and led the strike following a lock-out in 1913. Badly wounded in the Easter Rising, he was executed strapped to a chair. Irish republican socialism has never recovered from his loss and has struggled to explain his blood-sacrifice. He published Erin's Hope (1897), Labour in Irish History and Labour, Nationality and Religion (1910), and The Reconquest of Ireland (1915).

Michael Hopkinson

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Connolly, James

James Connolly, 1870–1916, Irish nationalist and socialist. An advocate of revolutionary syndicalism, he went (1903) to the United States, where he helped to organize the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Returning to Ireland, he became an organizer of the Belfast dockworkers. He helped James Larkin to organize the Irish Transport and General Workers Union and, during the great lockout of the Dublin transport workers in 1913, organized a citizen army. Convinced that the triumph of Irish nationalism was a prerequisite for the success of Irish socialism, he joined the Easter Rebellion of 1916. He was wounded, court-martialed, and executed.

See two selections from his writings: Socialism and Anatomy (with intro. and notes by D. Ryan, 1948) and The Workers' Republic (ed. by D. Ryan, 1951); biography by C. D. Greaves (1972).

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Connolly, James

Connolly, James (1870–1916) Irish nationalist leader. He went to the USA in 1903, and helped establish the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Returning to Ireland, he united Belfast's dock workers and then helped organize the Dublin transport workers' strike (1913). He was a leader in the Easter Rising of 1916, and was executed by the British.

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