23 January 2006

Connolly tribute for City Hall



A West Belfast councillor is to put forward a motion calling for a stained glass window in memory of James Connolly to be erected at the City Hall.

Sinn Féin Councillor Fra McCann has said his party will meet with the Policy and Resources Committee this week at the City Hall to discuss erecting the window as part of the ninetieth anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The party has agreed to support unionist plans to stage a series of events to commemorate 90 years since the Battle of the Somme and hope in return to gain unionist support for a tribute to James Connolly.

Sinn Féin believe a window in memory of Connolly would be a celebration of his connection with the city.

James Connolly lived in West Belfast for a period during which time he became Belfast organiser for James Larkin’s Transport and General Workers’ Union.

A plaque in memory of him has been on display at his former Falls Road address at the bottom of the Whiterock Road.

Councillor Fra McCann said the unveiling of a stained glass window at the City Hall would be a fitting way to commemorate Connolly’s links with Belfast.

“Unionist politicians have been looking at events to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, which we have absolutely no difficulty with, after all there was a huge loss of life.

“What we are saying is that this year there is another historically significant event which should be commemorated, the 90th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising,” he said.

“We are proposing the erection of a stained glass window of James Connolly, given his connection with the city of Belfast.

“He lived on the Falls for a period and was one of the founders of the trade union along with James Larkin.

“He was also a champion for the working classes for both Catholics and Protestants in the city.

“I think it is about time the City Hall faced up to the reality that over half the people in this city see the Easter Rising as a part of their history.

“James Connolly had a profound political and historical impact on the city which should be celebrated,” said Cllr McCann.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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