26 February 2006

Connolly role up for debate

Daily Ireland


The political role that the Easter Rising martyr, James Connolly, played between 1914 and 1916 will be debated in Dublin next week.
As discussions intensify in the run-up to the 90th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, a series of lectures on the period is planned for Dublin.
The James Connolly Education Trust is to organise a series of meetings, with the first one taking place next week. The speaker will be Manus O’Riordan, the head of research of the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union. He will address the topic of Connolly, the World War, and 1916.
Eugene McCartan, an organiser of the lecture series, said: “The series will deal with the 1916 Rising. They will be of interest and should provide a good antidote to the ongoing attacks on the Rising in the national media.
“The first talk will deal with the attitude of James Connolly to World War I and the reason why he felt the Rising should take place.
“With talk radio and newspaper column inches raising questions about the Rising, the reasons for it, questions about poppies, [and claims] that it was a stab in the back to the Irish fighting in Europe for the freedom of small nations, the series will culminate with a weekend of events on the 12 to 14 May in Liberty Hall, Ireland Institute and Arbour Hill Cemetery.”
The role of James Connolly in the Rising is beginning to be addressed in a number of forums this year. The Labour Party is to hold a series of meetings under the banner of the Liberty Project this year to discuss the role that the labour movement played in the Rising.
Rascal Films is working on a film about the life and times of the Edinburgh-born socialist republican.
• Manus O’Riordan’s lecture on Connolly, the World War, and 1916 will begin at 8pm on Tuesday at the Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin.

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