Next week marks the 101st anniversary of the execution of James Connolly, but while every Irish person knows Connolly was a leader in the 1916 Rising in 1916, it is less well known that Connolly was a convinced Marxist, who wanted to achieve a socialist Ireland.
Galway’s The James Connolly Forum, will mark the anniversary of Connolly’s death with a special talk on the 1917 Russian Revolution and its relevance today. The talk, which will be given by US Marxist academic, political writer, and social commentator Greg Godels - who blogs under the title Zoltan Zigedy - takes place on Wednesday May 10 at 8pm in Richardson’s, Eyre Square.
The organisers felt a talk on the Russian Revolution would be a fitting tribute to mark Connolly’s execution as there are a number of links between the leader of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Ilych Lenin, and the 1916 Easter Rising.
Directly after the Easter Rising there was considerable criticism within the socialist movement in Britain, the USA and Europe concerning Connolly’s participation in the ‘putsch’ or ‘skirmish’ as it was derided.
Yet Lenin, who was to lead two great revolutions within 18 months, rebuked all who belittled the Rising. “Whoever expects a ‘pure’ social revolution will never live to see it,” he said. “The misfortune of the Irish was that they rose prematurely, when the European revolt of the proletariat had not yet matured.” Nonetheless, when Ireland proclaimed itself a republic in 1919, Russia was the only nation to grant Ireland recognition as a republic and an independent nation.
Admission is free and all are welcome.