1868 – James Connolly is born of Irish parents in Edinburgh.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

1916 rebel leader and ardent socialist James Connolly is born to poverty stricken Irish parents in Edinburgh Scotland. At age 14, he joined the British Army (Royal Scots Regiment) falsifying his age. He was posted to Ireland, serving much of his time in the Cork area.

Despite the fact he left school at age 11, Connolly was a fervent reader and astute social commentator who railed against the extreme poverty and disease which consumed working class society. In 1890, he married Lillie Reynolds and the following year deserted from a British Army he had grown to despise. He then spent some time in Scotland becoming Secretary of the Scottish Socialist Federation before moving to Dublin in a similar capacity and becoming a close ally of James Larkin.

Following the General Strike of 1913 which deteriorated into violent street battles between the authorities and striking workers, Connolly founded the Irish Citizens…

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