15 May 2006

Mural remembers Connolly


At mural unveiling. Gerry Adams calls for women to join Sinn Féin


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usA mural in honour of James Connolly was unveiled in West Belfast yesterday.
A crowd of over 100 people braved wet conditions to attend the event in Rockmount Street, close to the former home of the 1916 Easter Rising hero.

At the unveiling, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams addressed the crowd and musician Andrea Rice sang the ballad of James Connolly.

Local woman Bridie Crostan from Rockdale Street, who lived in the area at
the time Connolly lived there, shared her memories of him with the crowd.

The large mural, painted by local artist Danny Devenney, features an iconic image of Connolly and includes one of his famous quotes: “The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland”.

A plaque in memory of Connolly’s stay is on display outside his former home at the bottom of the Whiterock Road.

During his time in Belfast he became an organiser for James Larkin’s Transport and Workers’ Union.

Addressing the crowd, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams described Connolly as a “rounded and rooted character”.

“James Connolly was heavily instrumental in the struggle for workers when he came to Belfast in 1910 from the USA,” he told the crowd.

“He and his wife Lily had children and he knew what it was like to experience poverty and to live in difficult conditions.

“James Connolly was anti-sectarian and anti-imperialist, not just in Ireland but towards the nature of struggle all over the world,” said Mr Adams.
“He understood the need for core values and principles which still guide us today.

“He was about the future and that’s what the Proclamation was about, and he was an architect of it,” he added.

Mr Adams went on to praise the work of artist ‘Danny Dee’ then took the opportunity to urge people to join Sinn Féin.

“I know that not all of you here today are in Sinn Féin but you are as republican as anyone.

“As we move forward I would urge you to join Sinn Féin, particularly the women among you.

“As our party changes we would like more women to be part of the process,” said Mr Adams.

Bridie Crostan said, “I lived in Rockdale Street when James Connolly was living in the area and I remember him being in our house a lot. He was a good friend of my father.

“It is an honour for me to have been reared beside someone like James Connolly,” added the local pensioner.

Journalist:: Chris McCann

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