“All changed, changed utterly”: The historical significance of the Irish Revolution

Issue: 150

Shaun Doherty

The problem with political anniversaries is that they often focus on specific dates in the past without any recognition that they are part of a longer process. Easter Monday 1916 is an iconic date in Irish history that all and sundry seek to appropriate, but it can only be understood by what preceded and followed it. This may seem like stating the obvious to readers of a Marxist journal, but in the light of all the false narratives that have been peddled since, it is an important starting point for a credible evaluation of its historical significance. An additional problem is understanding the timeframe of past events from such a distance. At the time of writing we are remembering the fifth anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution with the events of Tahrir Square and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak etched clearly in our consciousness. Trying to imagine the scale of developments in the five years following the Irish Revolution 100 years later is difficult but essential.

Those who focus on the single date of the Easter Rising inevitably underplay its importance, but the memory of what followed it and of what has often been hidden from conventional histories is vital if we are to give full recognition of its significance. This chain of events led, at least in part, to the overthrow of British rule in Ireland. In addition, the uprising in Britain’s oldest colony became a symbol for future anti-imperialist struggles. Even if the tone of W B Yeats’s famous poem is decidedly patronising, he was right. 1916 changed everything.

Against the wider canvas of the First World War, a war for the defence and extension of empires, the significance of these events was epochal. After the defeat of the uprising and the execution of its leaders—“famed in song and story, heroes of renown”—there were six years of widespread revolt that put Ireland in the vanguard of the anti-imperialist struggle. In 1918 there was a successful general strike against conscription to the British army and a general election which saw the election of 73 Sinn Fein candidates to the 105 seats of what they proclaimed as the Irish Dáil. In January 1919 they voted for a declaration of Independence and a parallel mechanism of government existed alongside the increasingly marginalised British rule.

In April 1919 the Limerick soviet was declared and became the beacon of widespread social and labour mobilisation against imperial rule. Also in 1919 the War of Independence began and, contrary to the mythologised accounts, a protracted period of bitter military struggle was combined with widespread social unrest and active boycotts of all British institutions. The British response combined repression in the South with encouragement for secession in the North. The Restoration of Order in Ireland Act unleashed a wave of terror against any town or village that supported the republican forces, and the Government of Ireland Act set the stage for separate parliaments, creating the basis for a Northern state.

1921 saw the third strand in the British strategy—an appeal to the “moderates” in the republican movement, led by Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, for a settlement. A truce was called prior to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty which gave limited independence to the 26 counties of the South while imposing partition of the six counties in the North. In the subsequent civil war the pro-Treaty forces—armed to the teeth by Britain—defeated the rejectionist forces. The foundations were laid for a conservative Free State in the South and a sectarian Unionist statelet in the North. However imperfect this outcome, it exposed the cracks in the edifice of Empire.

Imperial domination

It is useful to look more closely at what Empire meant for the Irish people. In the context of the current refugee crisis in Europe it is fashionable to play down the extent to which imperial ambitions have been responsible for human disasters. The history of British occupation in Ireland is one of the clearest examples of the direct relationship between the two. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels wrote graphically about a policy that combined seizure of the land with the stifling of indigenous economic growth. Brutal military repression was used to enforce both when required. Nowhere is this more graphically illustrated than in the Irish famine of 1846. The failure of the potato crop, the staple diet of the peasantry, led to more than one million deaths by starvation and forced a similar number to emigrate. Yet exports of grain and cattle increased. While the Irish starved, the food they produced was being exported to line the pockets of the often absentee British landlords. At the same time the Irish were being driven off the land so that a transition could be made from arable to grazing land.

Marx wrote in Capital:

Ireland is at present merely an agricultural district of England which happens to be divided by a wide stretch of water from the country for which it provides corn, wool, cattle and industrial and military recruits. The depopulation of Ireland has thrown much of the land out of cultivation… Nevertheless, the rents of the land and the profits of the farmers increased… The reason for this will be easily understood. On the one hand, with the throwing together of smallholdings and the change from arable to pasture land, a larger part of the total product was transferred into a surplus product.1

Consequently, Marx concluded that the famine: “killed poor devils only. To the wealth of the country it did not the slightest damage”.2

Marx wrote about this phase of English domination in a letter to Engels in 1867: “What can be more ridiculous than to confuse the barbarities of Elizabeth or Cromwell, who wanted to supplant the Irish by English colonists…with the present system, which wants to supplant them by sheep, pigs and oxen!”3 This analysis led Marx and Engels to be staunch supporters of Fenian resistance to imperialism, if not always of their methods. In the same letter Marx argued that the Irish needed self-government and independence from England, an agrarian revolution and protective tariffs against England. Marx stated that: “The Union [of 1801] delivered the death blow to reviving Irish industry”.4

As Kieran Allen points out the approach of the British ruling class to the famine combined free market fundamentalism with racism. They opposed bans on food exports from Ireland and ended food relief schemes. Their mentality is summed up perfectly by the assistant secretary to the Treasury, Charles Trevelyan: “It forms no part of the functions of government to provide supplies of food or to increase the productive powers of the land…it falls to the share of government to protect the merchant and the agriculturalist in the free exercise of their respective employments”.5 The Irish could die or emigrate as long as profits were protected.

James Connolly and the revolutionary tradition

The Marxist analysis of England’s imperialist domination of Ireland was built upon by James Connolly, Ireland’s pre-eminent revolutionary and a key figure in the 1916 uprising. In his most influential work, Labour in Irish History, he looked at the relationship between the nationalist movement and the working class arguing that an all-class alliance based on the notion of “nationhood” would fail to break the stranglehold of Britain. The Irish upper classes relied on Britain for their own security and feared their own people more than they hated the Empire. But even James Stephens, a co-founder of the Fenians in 1858, a socialist and a member of Marx’s First International was so wedded to the idea of an all-class alliance that he regarded the raising of social issues within the movement as “lunatic”.

Connolly exposed this notion, arguing that constitutional nationalists like Patrick Sarsfield, Henry Grattan and Daniel O’Connell all feared the masses more than the British, because any movement from below would threaten their own wealth and class position. Connolly believed that the Irish bourgeoisie had a record of cowardly betrayal which he traced to their weak manufacturing base. This meant that the Irish bourgeoisie were not prepared to take action, such as the expropriation of land from British absentee landlords, against the landed aristocracy and those who depended on Britain for protection.

He also commented on the Act of Union and argued that it was only made possible “because Irish manufacture was weak and, consequently, Ireland had not an energetic capitalist class with sufficient public spirit and influence to prevent the Union”. His conclusion that “only the working class remain as the incorruptible inheritors of the fight for freedom in Ireland” was an insight that resonated with Leon Trotsky’s later theory of permanent revolution.6

The constitutional nationalists argued the opposite, that if only they had their partial independence the economy would flourish. The problem with Connolly’s analysis was that in attempting to distinguish between militant republicanism and constitutional nationalism he underestimated the commonality of their traditions. The bridge between republicanism and socialism has two-way traffic and a triumph for the former would not lead automatically to the establishment of the latter. Some commentators have argued that Connolly’s position correctly prioritised the balance of this relationship. So for example, C Desmond Greaves argued in The Life and Times of James Connolly that the struggle for the social transformation of Ireland had to await its national liberation.7 In his Preface to the 1985 edition of The History of the Irish Working Class Peter Berresford Ellis writes: “In Ireland today as in previous centuries the mainspring of socialism is in the national struggle”.8 Neither of these positions does Connolly justice, but he did believe, mistakenly, that the struggle for Irish independence would automatically lead to the more militant republicans being won to a subsequent assault on capitalism. Nevertheless, Connolly was a towering figure in the liberation movement as an organiser and propagandist and his contribution to the events of 1916 was central.

But what was it that led him onto the streets of Dublin at the head of his Irish Citizen Army alongside the republicans in the Irish Volunteers? In any evaluation of Connolly’s work there needs to be a clear understanding of the tension between his lifelong commitment to working class struggle and his relationship to the fight for national liberation. The tension is not just theoretical. The historical developments in the last three years of his life shaped his attitude considerably. If the five years after 1916 dramatically transformed the political landscape in Ireland, the three years preceding it are crucial to understanding Connolly’s role.

From 1889 he had been a socialist and trade union organiser in Scotland; in 1896 he moved to Ireland and formed the Irish Socialist Republican Party; in 1903 he left for the United States where he became involved in the Socialist Labour Party and was subsequently an organiser for the Industrial Workers of the World. Finally he returned to Ireland in 1910 becoming an organiser for the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU) in 1911 and then its general secretary in 1913.

Dublin 1913 proved to be the watershed. The lockout of the Dublin working class as the employers fought to prevent the drive for unionisation and stem the increasing influence of Connolly’s union ended in defeat for the workers. The solidarity shown by rank and file workers in Britain was outweighed by the capitulation of their union leaderships and by TUC-backed scabbing. In a May Day article in the Scottish radical paper Forward headed “Fraternity of Betrayal” Connolly expressed his bitterness at the defeat: “I cannot this May Day felicitate you or the working class of the world in general upon the spread of working class solidarity. Instead of it I see much mouthing of phrases, much sordid betrayal of our holiest hopes”.9

The defeat of 1913 was followed by the outbreak of the First World War. Connolly was in a small minority of the international socialist movement standing alongside Lenin in opposing the war and the ITGWU campaigned against conscription. But the bulk of the members of the Second International capitulated to their own national chauvinism and supported the war. Connolly argued that “the signal for war ought to have been the signal for rebellion…when the bugle sounded the first note of actual war, their notes should have been taken as the tocsin for social revolution”.10

He believed that the war presented revolutionaries with the opportunity, particularly in Ireland, of striking a blow against the biggest imperial power in the world: “Starting thus, Ireland may yet set a torch to a European conflagration that will not burn out until the last throne and last capitalist bond and debenture will be shrivelled on the funeral pyre of the last warlord”.11 Indeed the war did provide an impetus for revolution across Europe. The Russian Revolution in 1917, German revolution in 1918 and the great unrest in Britain in 1919 all arose out of the ashes of the war and it could be argued that Connolly’s vision was not entirely misplaced. The problem, however, was how the torch was to be ignited.

The relationship between the 1913 Dublin lockout, 1914 and the Easter Rising in 1916 exposed the strengths and weaknesses of Connolly’s politics. The conclusions he drew from the defeat of 1913 and the outbreak of war the next year undoubtedly contributed to his involvement in the Rising. Out of the defeat of working class struggle and the carnage of war he became increasingly drawn to the idea of armed revolt against Britain in alliance with the forces of nationalism.

Two other factors led Connolly to believe that a pre-emptive strike against Britain was essential. Conscription had been approved by the British parliament in January 1916, but even John Redmond’s Irish Parliamentary Party could not countenance it being imposed in Ireland, so Ireland was exempt. But Connolly was rightly convinced that this was merely a postponement of the inevitable and believed that conscription, if successfully imposed, would lead to the militarisation of society and would strengthen the power of the state immeasurably. It would be enforced “though every river in Ireland ran red with blood”. Secondly, he believed that it would bind Ireland to empire and sound the death knell of Irish nationalism. Here it is important to emphasise the role of Irish volunteers, both Nationalist and Unionist, in the British war effort. If conscription were to be imposed their identification with empire would be strengthened.

Connolly began arguing openly for insurrection and against those “who would shrink from giving the blow”. His arguments in Workers’ Republic began to display a sense of urgency. His preferred option was the mobilisation of the working class: “Had we been able to carry out all our plans, such as an Irish organisation of labour alone could carry them out, we could at a word have created all the conditions necessary to the striking of a successful blow whenever the military arm of Ireland wished to move”.12 But the defeat of the working class combined with the fears of conscription led him into an alliance with republicans largely on their terms. He also began to argue that the audacity of the revolutionaries would substitute for the weakness of the masses. Once his mind was made up he became indispensable to the planning and execution of the rising.

The Rising

So what of the rising itself? On Easter Monday 24 April 1916 the rising broke out and lasted for six days. The Chief Secretary for Ireland Augustine Birrell called it “nothing more than a row in Dublin”, but it was in fact a serious blow against the imperial power which, as historian Piers Brendon described “blasted the widest breach in the ramparts of the British Empire since Yorktown”, the 1781 battle that sealed the victory of the American colonies. There were 1,300 insurgents including 130 from Connolly’s Irish Citizen Army. They seized a number of key locations in central Dublin and held the far superior forces of the crown at bay.

The centrepiece was the seizure of the General Post Office (the GPO) and the declaration of the republic. There was fierce fighting for days before the rebels surrendered after their leaders Padraig Pearse and Connolly decided that the attacks from the British were an increasing danger to civilian lives. When described even in these limited terms the Rising was far more than the symbolic act of a few brave individuals and it took a considerable British force of 20,000 to bring it down. The leaders knew they would be executed but ensured that most of the rank and file were spared.

The facts of the Easter Rising have been shrouded in the mists of ­mythmaking. In an article in Irish Marxist Review, Allen addresses this flawed historical legacy.13 As I have argued earlier, the historical context and the subsequent challenges and contradictions in the world imperial order helped to shape its impact. The British ruling class were far from immune from these tensions and this manifested itself at the highest levels of government. The Liberals were under threat from Bonar Law’s Tories who openly encouraged the Unionists of the North to rebel against any attempt to resurrect Home Rule legislation for Ireland. Law said in July 1912: “I can imagine no length of resistance to which Ulster will go in which I will not be ready to support them”.14 This put pressure on the strategy of Redmond’s Irish Parliamentary Party to rely on the Liberals to provide a constitutional solution to the Irish question through legislation for Home Rule. Their support for the war brought them little advantage when the Liberal government fell and a national government was formed in 1915. Their credibility was severely undermined and their political hegemony as the sole representatives of the Irish people was fractured.

Secondly, it was argued by P S O’Hegarty—a former member of the Irish Republic Brotherhood Supreme Council—that the “insurrection of 1916 was a forlorn hope and deliberate blood sacrifice…[its leaders] counted on being executed afterwards and knew that that would save Ireland’s soul”.15 This argument sought to play down the revolutionary upsurge that accompanied the War of Independence. If 1916 could be reduced to the sacrifices of a handful of brave martyrs its significance would not be generalised. Even Pearse, perhaps the most prominent of the leaders of the Rising, and one who has often been portrayed as sympathetic to this view made the opposite intention clear when he argued that they could have achieved not just a proclamation of the Irish Republic but its establishment. They went out to fight, not to die in a futile sacrifice.

The insurgents’ intention was to free Ireland, the tragedy was that the circumstances conspired against them. Two factors in particular undermined the potential of the Rising. The German ship the Aud, carrying arms for the insurgents, had to be abandoned off the coast of Cork after being sighted by the British. Secondly, Eoin MacNeill, one of the leaders of the right wing faction of the Volunteers, countermanded the order for mobilisation. This meant that instead of a national upsurge of revolt the action was confined primarily to Dublin.

It is also argued that the Rising lacked popular support and public opinion only began to change when its leaders were executed. It is true that it was unpopular among the wealthy classes, but the Rising had considerable support in the working class districts. In St Stephen’s Green there was considerable hostility, but in Grand Canal Street, St. Patrick’s Street and Sackville Street the insurgents were met by cheering crowds and as one of the Volunteers, J J Walsh, commented “it was grand to feel that already the populace was responding to the latest and one of the greatest bids for liberty”.16

The international impact

In the light of this mythology it’s useful to examine the responses of the international workers’ movement to the Irish events. Revolutionaries were not in uniform agreement in their responses. Sections of the Bolshevik Party took the view that nationalist struggles had no part to play in the struggle for socialist revolution and agreed with Polish revolutionary Karl Radek that Easter 1916 was nothing more than a “putsch”. This judgement, supported by Nikolai Bukharin and others, now seems sectarian and abstract. Trotsky took the view that the Rising was carried out by a combination of the urban petty bourgeoisie and a section of workers in alliance, with the “green” politics of the former predominating. He believed that the “red” politics of the latter would inevitably emerge during the course of the struggle.

Lenin had a much more developed view that situated the Rising in the historical context of “a centuries old Irish national Independence movement which had pass through various stages and combinations of class interests” and rightly identified it in the current context of the crisis of imperialism. The revolts of small nations may not themselves bring about the end of imperialism, but could act as a spur to working class involvement. Despite the limitations of the nationalist politics of the leaders the revolts themselves could strike a blow against imperialism. He understood that the revolts were an expression of the oppressed. This was the basis for his famous characterisation of 1916:

To imagine that social revolution is conceivable without revolts of small nations in the colonies and in Europe, without revolutionary outbursts by a section of the petty bourgeoisie with all its prejudices, without a movement of the politically non-conscious proletarian and semi-proletarian masses against oppression by the landowners, the church and the monarchy, against national oppression etc, to imagine all this is to repudiate social revolution.17

He described the uprising as “premature” because of the politics that dominated it, not as a denial of its contribution to the Europe-wide revolutionary struggle.

With hindsight we can conclude that the Rising was a major blow to the Empire, partly because of its scope, but also because it came from the oldest colony and was the first of many liberation struggles to emerge during the 20th century. It was the first crack in the imperial edifice. Its dominant politics were nationalist, but the central involvement of revolutionaries like Connolly and the subsequent social revolts throughout the country during the War of Independence meant that it could not simply be reduced to a narrow ­nationalistic perspective.

The aftermath

The irony that the political inheritance of the Rising passed to Sinn Féin (“Ourselves Alone”) should not go unremarked. Its founder Arthur Griffith played no part in the Rising and indeed he urged the Irish Volunteers to heed McNeill’s countermanding order. He was pro-capitalist and believed in Ireland developing its own empire. He even put forward the idea of instituting a dual monarchy shared with Britain rather than demolishing it. The political inheritance fell into Sinn Féin’s lap because neither Connolly nor Pearse had left an independent political legacy that could have given organisational expression to the spirit and objectives of the declaration of independence read from the steps of the GPO on Easter Monday.

Sinn Féin was also targeted by British propaganda and became the focal point for political organisation. At its convention in October 1917 Éamon De Valera, a key participant in the Rising, succeeded Griffith and subsequently also assumed command of the Irish Volunteers—the two wings of the movement, political and military, came under his leadership. He firmly established the priority of national unity across social classes and an embargo on debate about what sort of free Ireland they were campaigning for. This nationalist perspective attracted many former members of Redmond’s discredited Parliamentary Party as well as many respectable establishment figures and even the Catholic hierarchy. De Valera summed up his priorities: “We say to labour you have your own work to do, organise and be as strong as you like, but for the present moment we have the big question of Irish liberty on hand, which will take all the energy…we cannot at present in our fight deal with labour problems”.18

The problems of attempting to establish a parallel state within Ireland were insurmountable; even though it had popular support, the tax system and the institutions of government were still controlled by Britain. This impasse could only lead to war and the IRA began the fight against the forces of the crown. These political developments did not chime, however, with the concerns of urban workers and agricultural labourers who saw the opportunity afforded to them in the struggle for independence to extend the fight to issues of pay, conditions and social questions. The scale of the social unrest has already been alluded to, but is explored in magnificent detail in Conor Kostick’s Revolution in Ireland: Popular Militancy 1917-1923.19 There is only space here for a flavour of this phenomenon, which has been deliberately hidden from history. During the same period as the war of independence a series of astonishing developments sat alongside the issue of independence. In February 1918 some 10,000 people attended a rally to celebrate the Russian Revolution and “to hail with delight its advent”. The word “soviet” entered the vocabulary, and this in the most Catholic of countries. There was a militant and widespread campaign for land distribution from the big ranchers to the smaller farmers. There were mobilisations of landless labourers resulting in pitched battles with the police.

By 1922 the number of unionised workers had grown from 100,000 to 225,000 and there were sporadic localised general strikes and occupations over wages and conditions. In 1919 some 20,000 shipyard workers in Belfast struck for a 44-hour week and effectively took control of the city. Through all of these struggles Sinn Féin was either silent or sought to mediate between the class interests rather than side with the poor and dispossessed. Peadar O’Donnell (a left republican) summed it up: “We [Sinn Féin] lost out in 1921 because there was no day to day struggle making for differentiation so in those days we were forced to defend ranches enforce rents and be neutral in strikes…the Free State was in existence long before the name was adopted”.20 The failure of Connolly to develop an independent socialist party that could sustain his legacy after the Rising because of his belief that the militancy of the struggle would automatically lead to revolutionary socialist ideas meant that the vacuum was filled by the politics of nationalism embodied by Sinn Féin.

Carnival of reaction North and South

“If I refrain from congratulations it is only because I do not wish to embarrass you. The archives of the Four Courts may be scattered but the title deeds of Ireland are safe”. Winston Churchill’s message to Michael Collins, after the Free State government bombarded its former comrades fighting against the Treaty in the Four Courts in Dublin, sums up the trajectory taken on both sides of the border. In the North a sectarian Loyalist state was imposed with institutional discrimination against the Catholic minority and marginal privileges for Protestant workers to buy their loyalty. In the South the partially independent Free State embarked on decades of social conservatism and economic strangulation. The defeat of the anti-Treaty forces and the split in republicanism led to a Catholic upper class in power determined to replicate all the privileges they enjoyed under empire. All the structures of resistance thrown up during the war of independence were dismantled.

The two wings of republicanism came to be represented by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Although both were supported by different constituencies both were conservative. De Valera, the leader of the anti-Treaty forces, became reconciled to changed circumstances and began a lengthy tenure as Taoiseach (prime minister). The constitution of 1937 afforded the Catholic Church “special position” in society. The faith became the spiritual compensation for the failure to deliver all the aspirations of the revolution. All questions of morality, family life and the position of women were circumscribed by Catholic dogma. After the 1950s, the economy morphed from protectionism to the embrace of multinationals and the accompanying tax breaks.

The establishment in the South pays its respect to Easter 1916 only in order to appropriate it and divest it of any of its revolutionary intent. A dominant narrative is established to erase the underlying social upheaval in the struggle for independence from Irish history. However, there is another continuing narrative. If we are to bring the analysis up to date we have seen a Civil Rights Movement in the North established in the late 1960s failing to win reforms from an ­unreformable state and leading to the emergence of a more recent strand of militant republicanism in the shape of the Provisional IRA. After a protracted armed conflict this “new” version looks a lot like the old and has morphed into a form of constitutional nationalism. Although the Orange regime has gone, the “process” that led to “peace” has institutionalised the divisions between the two communities and Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party govern hand in hand.

In the South the old certainties of the De Valera era are fading fast. The true horrors of Catholic Ireland are emerging with the scandals of sexual abuse by clergy and its cover up and the revelations of the appalling suffering of the women consigned to the Magdalen Laundries at the hands of religious orders.

The much vaunted “Celtic Tiger” of the 1990s and 2000s has collapsed in a scandal of government collusion with the banks and big builders and the South is in the grip of EU imposed austerity measures. The North similarly has adopted the Stormont agreement which will decimate public services and accelerate privatisation. Against this background there are real grounds for hope. Attitudes are transformed to such an extent that only one electoral district voted against the legalisation of same sex relationships (and that by a slim majority) in the referendum of May 2015. border.

The recent general election reflected a fragmentation of the old order. The two right wing parties Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil saw their combined vote collapse to 45 percent, a sustained decline from 1982 when they commanded 82 percent of the electorate. The outgoing coalition of Fine Gael and Labour had their combined vote reduced from a governable 56 percent to a lamentable 32 percent, with the vote for Labour itself reducing its vote to 6 percent—paying the price for its part in the coalition of austerity. Sinn Féin, campaigning on an anti-austerity programme, saw its vote increase by 3.9 percent to 13.8 percent. The campaign against water charges, which saw mass demonstrations, street mobilisations and boycotts was reflected in the admirable showing of 6 seats for the Anti Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit who will carry the campaign from the streets into the Dáil and back again to the grassroots. This reflects a real emergence of class politics and the potential for future struggle.

It seems appropriate to leave the last words with Connolly’s final paragraph in Labour in Irish History:

The revolutionists of the past were wiser, the Irish socialists are wiser today. In their movement the North and the South will again clasp hands, again it will be demonstrated…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.21


1 Marx, 1990, p860.

2 Marx, 1990, pp861-862.

3 Marx to Engels 30 November 1867 in Marx and Engels, 1978, p157.

4 Quoted in Marx and Engels, 1978.

5 Cited in Allen, 2015, p7.

6 Connolly, 1987, pp42 and xxvii.

7 Greaves, 1976.

8 Berresford Ellis, 1985, p7.

9 Greaves, 1976, p344.

10 Connolly, 1915.

11 Cited in Doherty, 1998.

12 Workers’ Republic, 22 January 1916.

13 Allen, 2015. See also Allen, 1990 for an invaluable analysis of the Rising and the debate among Marxists about its political characterisation.

14 Quoted in Allen, 2015, p5.

15 Quoted in Allen, 2015, p6.

16 Quoted in Allen, 2015, p8.

17 Lenin, 2000.

18 Quoted in Allen, 2016, p85.

19 Kostick, 2009.

20 Allen, 2016, p95.

21 Connolly, 1987, p184.


Allen, Kieran, 1990, The Politics of James Connolly (Bookmarks).

Allen, Kieran, 2015, “The 1916 Rising: Myth and Reality”, Irish Marxist Review, volume 4, number 14.

Allen, Kieran, 2016, 1916: Ireland’s Revolutionary Tradition (Pluto).

Berresford Ellis, Peter, 1985, The History of the Irish Working Class (Pluto).

Connolly, James, 1915, “Revolutionary Unionism and War”, International Socialist Review (March), www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1915/03/revunion.htm

Connolly, James, 1987, Labour in Irish History (Bookmarks).

Doherty, Shaun, 1998, “Will the Real James Connolly Please Stand Up?”, International Socialism 80 (autumn), www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/isj2/1998/isj2-080/doherty.htm

Greaves, C Desmond, 1976, The Life and Times of James Connolly (Lawrence and Wishart).

Kostick, Conor, 2009, Revolution in Ireland: Popular Militancy 1917-1923 (Cork University Press).

Lenin, V I, 2000 [1916], “The Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up”, www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/jul/x01.htm

Marx, Karl, 1990, Capital, Volume 1 (Penguin Classics).

Marx, Karl, and Frederick Engels, 1978, Ireland and the Irish Question (Lawrence and Wishart).