James Connolly (1868-1916)
Born in Edinburgh, Connolly first went to Ireland as a young member of the British Army. In 1896 he founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party and also started a newspaper, the Workers’ Republic. He spent seven years in America where he lectured and organized for the Wobblies in the New York area. Back in Ireland in 1910, he campaigned for the Socialist Party. Jim Larkin appointed him as Ulster Organiser for the ITGWU in Belfast and in 1913 he helped during the Dublin Lockout.
Connolly was one of the founders of the Irish Citizen Army. Throughout his life he wrote and published extensively on Irish and socialist issues. During the Easter Rising he was appointed Commandant-General of the Dublin brigade, directing the Army of the Irish Republic in the GPO. Badly wounded in two separate incidents, Connolly was executed strapped to a chair on 12 May 1916.