NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
The former Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, has called on the Scottish Parliament to officially recognise and commemorate the role of Scots born James Connolly, one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin.
MacAskill, who is part of the 1916 Rising Centenary Committee (Scotland), made his call this week. The Rising Centenary Committee (Scotland) plan to commemorate the contingent of Glasgow based members of the Irish Volunteers who participated in the 1916 Rising over the coming year.
Connolly, one of the leaders of the Rising and signatory to the proclamation of the Irish Republic, was involved in the Scottish and International socialist movements. He was a syndicalist and member of the International Workers of the World which organised on a global basis.
Connolly moved to Dublin in 1910 and worked closely with James Larkin who had established the Irish Transport and General Workers Union in Dublin. After brutal violence meted out by the Dublin Metropolitan Police towards strikers Connolly saw the need for a Defence Force for Trade Unionists and in 1913 together with an ex British Army officer, Jack White, he established the Irish Citizens Army (ICA).
The ICA was a well trained and disciplined force numbering about 250 – 300 and it joined the more numerous Irish Volunteers who turned out on Good Friday 1916. They were active in the early hours of the Rising occupying the Post Office and in other actions including the abortive attempt to seize Dublin Castle.
Connolly was seriously injured during the rising. He was not held in Kilmainham jail as other soon to be executed Rising Leaders were but was initially at a first aid station in Dublin Castle and then at Kilmainham Hospital.
In one of the most vicious acts of retribution by the British Military, Connolly was taken from the Hospital to be executed and unable to stand was tied to a chair before the firing squad. Although it is not generally recorded, the actions of the British in regard to all the executed leaders were probably a breach of The Hague convention governing the Laws of War to which Great Britain was a signatory, and in Connolly’s case it most definitely was.
Another ICA member, Michael Mallin, was also executed after the Rising, Mallin had been Connolly’s second in command.
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)
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