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Irish Citizen Army
- Me, Myself, and I
- Captain White told them that the work would commence immediately. He told them to attend the very next day at Croydon Park, Fairview, where they would be marshalled, divided into battalions, sub-divided into companies, and put through the elementary stages of military training. ‘This was a day of Hope for the workers,’ continued Captain White, ‘the definite result of their of their plans depended now on the efforts and sincerity of the workers themselves. The Irish Citizen Army would fight for Labour and for Ireland.’ He asked all those who intended to second their efforts by joining the army and training themselves for the fight for social liberty, to hold up their hands.
Almost every hand was silhouetted out against the darkening sky, and a last long deafening cheer proclaimed the birth of the Irish Citizen Army.
- Seán O’Casey, "The Story of the Irish Citizen Army"
- James Connolly
- “Is it not well and fitting that we of the working class should fight for the freedom of the nation from foreign rule, as the first requisite for the free development of the national powers needed for our class? It is so fitting.”
- James Connolly
- “If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.”
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- Irish Citizen Army quiz 14 Taken
On Sunday, April 16, 1916, let the date be forever remembered, Dublin witnessed a scene that moved thousands of men and women to tears of joy and thanksgiving. On that day the Irish Citizen Army, the armed forces of Labour, on the top of the headquarters of the Irish Transport Workers’ Union, hoisted and unfurled the Green Flag of Ireland, emblazoned with the Harp without the Crown, and as the sacred emblem of Ireland’s unconquered soul fluttered to the breeze, the bugles pealed their defiant salute, and the battalion presented arms, strong men wept for joy, and women fainted with emotion.
From early in the day the historic square was the centre of Dublin. Crowds were continually arriving to assure themselves that the ceremony was really to take place. All sorts of rumours were current all the week. Field guns were to level the Hall with the ground, all the avenues of approach were to be occupied by masses of troops with machine guns, Mr Connolly and all his officers were to be arrested at dead of night, martial law was to be declared on Saturday, and so forth; the stories were endless, and the bearers of the stories came from all quarters and ranks of society. But the preparations were quietly proceeded with, and the appointed hour found Beresford Place and all its avenues of approach blocked indeed, not by troops, but by tens of thousands of a breathless, excited, and jubilant crowd.
The duty and honour of unfurling the flag was allotted to Miss Molly Reilly, a young and beautiful member of the Irish Women Workers’ Union.
In front of the Hall the Irish Citizen Army cleared a space and formed into three sides of a square. Inside their formation positions were occupied by the Women’s Section, who made a splendid and beautiful show, the Citizen Army Boy Scouts, under Captain Carpenter, and the Fintan Lalor Pipers’ Band. Captain Poole and a Colour Guard of sixteen men escorted the Colour Bearer who was accompanied also by the three young girl dancers known as the Liberty trio.
The flag was deposited first on a pile of drums in the centre of the square. After inspecting the troops, Commandant Connolly took up his position in front of the drums with Commandant Mallin on his left and Lieutenant Markievicz on his right. Then the Colour Bearer, Miss Reilly, advanced from her escort, received the Colours from the Commandant, and turned about to face the Colour Guard. As she did so the Guard presented arms, and the buglers sounded the Salute. When the Colour Bearer had retaken her place in the centre of the Guard that body moved off around the square, whilst the Pipers’ Band played appropriate music.
As the Colour Guard reached the entrance to the Hall again, and reformed to their original front the Colour Bearer carrying the Colours across her breast bore them into the hall, and up to the roof. At this point the excitement was almost painful in its intensity. So closely had the crowds been packed that many thousands had been unable to see the ceremony on the square, but the eyes of all were now riveted upon the flag pole awaiting the re-appearance of the Colour Bearer. All Beresford Square was packed, Butt Bridge and Tara Street were as a sea of upturned faces. All the North Side of the Quays up to O’Connell Street was thronged, and O’Connell Bridge itself was impassable owing to the vast multitude of eager, sympathetic onlookers.
The Fintan Lalor Pipers’ Band is among the very first rank of the Pipe bands of Ireland, but so anxious and prayerfully eager were the people that its fine music was scarcely heeded as the hearts of all beat rapidly with longing for the appearance of the Flag upon its position.
At last the young Colour Bearer, radiant with excitement and glowing with colour in face and form, mounted beside the parapet of the roof, and with a quick graceful movement of her hand unloosed the lanyard, and
THE FLAG OF IRELAND
fluttered out upon the breeze.
Those who witnessed that
0 Comments 269 weeks
Let us free Ireland! Never mind such base, carnal thoughts as concern work and wages, healthy homes, or lives unclouded by poverty.
Let us free Ireland! The rackrenting landlord; is he not also an Irishman, and wherefore should we hate him? Nay, let us not speak harshly of our brother – yea, even when he raises our rent.
Let us free Ireland! The profit-grinding capitalist, who robs us of three-fourths of the fruits of our labour, who sucks the very marrow of our bones when we are young, and then throws us out in the street, like a worn-out tool when we are grown prematurely old in his service, is he not an Irishman, and mayhap a patriot, and wherefore should we think harshly of him?
Let us free Ireland! “The land that bred and bore us.” And the landlord who makes us pay for permission to live upon it. Whoop it up for liberty!
“Let us free Ireland,” says the patriot who won’t touch Socialism. Let us all join together and cr-r-rush the br-r-rutal Saxon. Let us all join together, says he, all classes and creeds. And, says the town worker, after we have crushed the Saxon and freed Ireland, what will we do? Oh, then you can go back to your slums, same as before. Whoop it up for liberty!
And, says the agricultural workers, after we have freed Ireland, what then? Oh, then you can go scraping around for the landlord’s rent or the money-lenders’ interest same as before. Whoop it up for liberty!
After Ireland is free, says the patriot who won’t touch socialism, we will protect all classes, and if you won’t pay your rent you will be evicted same as now. But the evicting party, under command of the sheriff, will wear green uniforms and the Harp without the Crown, and the warrant turning you out on the roadside will be stamped with the arms of the Irish Republic. Now, isn’t that worth fighting for?
And when you cannot find employment, and, giving up the struggle of life in despair, enter the poorhouse, the band of the nearest regiment of the Irish army will escort you to the poorhouse door to the tune of St. Patrick's Day. Oh! It will be nice to live in those days!
“With the Green Flag floating o’er us” and an ever-increasing army of unemployed workers walking about under the Green Flag, wishing they had something to eat. Same as now! Whoop it up for liberty!
Now, my friend, I also am Irish, but I’m a bit more logical. The capitalist, I say, is a parasite on industry; as useless in the present stage of our industrial development as any other parasite in the animal or vegetable world is to the life of the animal or vegetable upon which it feeds.
The working class is the victim of this parasite – this human leech, and it is the duty and interest of the working class to use every means in its power to oust this parasite class from the position which enables it to thus prey upon the vitals of labour.
Therefore, I say, let us organise as a class to meet our masters and destroy their mastership; organise to drive them from their hold upon public life through their political power; organise to wrench from their robber clutch the land and workshops on and in which they enslave us; organise to cleanse our social life from the stain of social cannibalism, from the preying of man upon his fellow man.
Organise for a full, free and happy life FOR ALL OR FOR NONE.
Workers' Republic, 1899
0 Comments 304 weeks
A writer in Forward recently expressed the desire that someone would prepare literature that would be suitable for the conversion to Socialism of Orangemen. It is a desire with which I most heartily sympathise. I cannot resist the feeling that the Socialist movement of these countries has a legitimate grievance against the Socialists in the North of Ireland for never having seriously essayed this task, before. Unfortunately the Socialists of this district seem to have been possessed with the idea that it was good tactics to talk about every place under the sun except about the North of Ireland, to read every history except Irish history, and to profess unlimited faith in the democracy of every country except Ireland.
This it was, and is argued, showed a good broad-minded attitude, proved that they were true internationalists, whereas to talk about Ireland, to dissect and analyse the claims made by Irish politicians, to expose the hollowness of their shibboleths to direct attention to the merciless expropriation that underlay the so-called religious issues of past wars in Ireland, and the equally callous desire to hide present exploitations on the part of those who seek to keep alive animosities supposedly arising out of these wars – all this is supposed to betray a parochial, Chauvinistic, narrow spirit alien to the true Internationalist.
I have always argued that although the Socialist movement requires a world-literature, a stock of books dealing with capitalism as a world force, constituting as it were the classical literature of the movement, yet that each country requires also a local or native literature and spoken propaganda translating and explaining its past history and present political developments in the light of the knowledge derived from a study of Socialist classics.
Any country which is content to depend solely upon these great Socialist classics will never have a Socialist movement of the working class; it may have a Socialist sect of a few true believers, but it cannot hope for the adhesion of the great mass of the toilers.
It is only when Socialism is brought down from the clouds and is shown to have a direct bearing upon the political life of each country as a reflex of the economic history of that country, and to have a message bearing upon the political problems of the day, it is only then that Socialism has an opportunity of developing from being the cult of a few to become the faith of the many.
In every country this has been learned, and in proportion as the local literature grew, the Socialist movement of which it was the expression grew also. The stronger and the more widespread is that local translation of Socialist generalisations the more deeply rooted, not the less, became the faith in the world-wide nature of the movement.
As bong as the movement in this district is content to draw its literature from England and its illustrations from British conditions, so bong will it be but an echo of the fight of our British brothers and sisters. So soon as we build up a literature and spoken propaganda dealing with conditions in Ireland, as our fathers knew and as we know them, so soon will the movement here draw strength and power to itself.
Like the mythological character who lost his strength when raised from the earth, but renewed his strength and power whenever his feet once more came in contact with the soil – so the Socialist movement drains itself to mere impotence or raises itself to power in proportion as it rests upon the immediate realities of the people to whom it is appealing.
The industrial movement, the rebellion in the shops, ships, docks, and factories needs to care little for the moment about questions arising out of past history, but the Socialist movement seeking to challenge the political powers of the political lords, or the rights of ownership of the machine lords, cannot evade the duty of an investigation of the historical origins of these powers
0 Comments 305 weeks
- Citizen Army (31)