Connolly Association general secretary Mick Carty introduces the new edition of The Life and Times of James Connolly published this week in association with Manifesto Press.
The life of James Connolly and his contribution to various democratic struggles, in particular Irish national independence, has been well documented and this book by C. Desmond Greaves is widely regarded as the standard biography for others to study and learn from.
Greaves’ joined the Connolly Association in 1941, and from then on dedicated his life to the cause of Irish unity and independence in the tradition of Connolly, committing himself to the goal of making the ending of partition a policy of the labour movement in Britain. As editor of the Association’s newspaper The Irish Democrat, he followed the example of Connolly who at once edited his paper, supervised its lay-out and then sold it personally to readers.
The Connolly Association, as the oldest and largest political organisation of the Irish in Britain, continues to win support for the struggle of the Irish people for a united and independent Republic and to fight for the removal of all obstacles placed in its way by British imperialism. Only by pursuing national unity and an independent course can Ireland be taken off the rack and onto the path to sovereignty and democracy.
The Connolly Association advises the Irish in Britain (of which the very vast majority are workers) to found their actions on the teachings of Connolly, by striving to solve their problems, both national and social, through the working class movement of the country 0they are living in.
However, winning support in Britain for Irish national independence is too great a task for the Irish community to undertake alone. It necessitates converting the working class movement in Britain to an internationalist policy on the Irish question and winning recognition of the fact that every internationalist must stand for the freedom of nations and thus, in that sense, he or she must be a nationalist as well.
The struggle for Irish unity and independence continues to be one which contributes to the struggle for democracy and world peace. As such it is a struggle which should command the support of every democrat in Britain and internationally.
Over one million trade unionists in Britain are affiliated to the Connolly Association at the time of writing, and we hope this new edition of Greaves’ ground-breaking work will strengthen again that number.
The Connolly Association is proud to help place this text before the fresh eyes of a new generation one hundred and fifty years on from the birth of Ireland’s greatest labour leader, patriot and revolutionary – James Connolly
by C D Greaves
edited by Anthony Coughlan and published in partnership with the Connolly Association
Cover designed by Hazel Roberts
£11.50 €10 (plus £2 €2.5 post and packing)