Text of Connolly Bio from IALC

Irish-American Labor Coalition
New York Chapter
17 Battery Place, Suite 1530
New York NY 10004
(212) 344-8794

James Connolly, Irish Patriot

James Connolly was born in a poor Irish neighborhood in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 5, 1868. He was one of three children.

At ten years of age James went to work as a 'fetcher' for the printers of the Edinburgh Evening News.

He worked at many jobs and in 1894 at twenty six years of age he became secretary of the Scottish Labor party.

Connolly spent the years between 1902 and 1910 in the United States.

In 1903 Connolly and his family came to Troy to live at 55 Ingalls Avenue. While the family lived in Troy their two children, Nora and Ina, joined other Troy children pulling wagons through the streets collecting and delivering collars at fifty cents a week.

To earn a living while in Troy Connolly worked for the Metropolitan Insurance Company. He lost his job when hard times hit Troy and the workers couldn't afford the premiums.

James went to work in Newark and in the autumn of 1905 his family joined him there.

In 1910 Connolly returned to Ireland and in the fall of 1914 he became the head of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. He was also one of the founders and the leader of labor's Irish Citizen Army and initiated the formation of a Labor Party in Ireland.

James Connolly played a key role in the "Easter Rising" which began on Easter Monday, April 24th 1916 he was Commander of the Dublin Garrison.

The purpose of the rebellion was to free Ireland from domination by England. Through defeated, the Rising changed the course of Irish and World history.

On May 12, 1916 in Dublin, Ireland James Connolly, gravely wounded, was taken from prison on a stretcher, strapped into a chair and shot to death, by troops of the English government. He was 47 years of age.

Today in Ireland, streets are named for Connolly. The railway station on Amiens Street, Dublin is 'Connolly Station'.

Commemorative stamps, bearing Connolly's likeness were issued in 1966.

Padraic Colum, the Irish poet, author, and playwright, said, after Connolly's execution by the English government, "Now that heavy earnest man, that brave and clear-minded fighter has been shot to death, it is hard to think that the loss to Ireland is no irreparable. I find it difficult to believe that we will see in our time a man who will give the Irish workers such brave and distinguished service - who will give as Connolly gave then, his mind, his heart, his life."

[ Troy ]