James Connolly and the struggle for Irish independence



The great revolutionary James Connolly was born 156 years ago today to Irish parents in Edinburgh. Connolly grew to be the greatest Marxist ever produced by these islands; an iconic figure in the history of the Irish working class. Executed by the British army in 1916 following his leading role in the Easter Rising, Connolly’s courage and sacrifice stand out as an inspiration to revolutionaries everywhere. 

First in Scotland, then in Ireland, in the United States and finally all across Ireland again, wherever he went Connolly played an essential role in organising and educating with Marxist ideas the incipient workers’ movement at the turn of the twentieth century. From the Scottish Socialist Federation, to the Irish Socialist Republican Party, The Socialist Labour Party of America, the IWW, the ITGWU, and more, he devoted all his energies to the cause of the working class.

His ideas remain an important contribution to the Marxist understanding of national oppression and the struggle against it. His masterpiece, Labour in Irish History, should be considered a must-read for all communists willing to fight against capitalism on this island, and beyond.

Today, we republish this talk from the 2018 Revolution Festival, where Ben Curry discusses the life of James Connolly: the man, his ideas, and their relevance for communists today. 

The Revolutionary Communists of Ireland are proud to fight for a Socialist United Ireland, and for world revolution, under the clear banner of James Connolly.