The Praxis of James Connolly’s Irish Republican Socialism


James Connolly’s last public statement:

To the Field General Court Martial, held at Dublin Castle, on May 9th, 1916

I do not wish to make any defence except against charges of wanton cruelty to prisoners. These trifling allegations that have been made, if they record facts that really happened deal only with the almost unavoidable incidents of a hurried uprising against long established authority, and nowhere show evidence of set purpose to wantonly injure unarmed persons.

We went out to break the connection between this country and the British Empire, and to establish an Irish Republic. We believed that the call we then issued to the people of Ireland, was a nobler call, in a holier cause, than any call issued to them during this war, having any connection with the war. We succeeded in proving that Irishmen are ready to die endeavouring to win for Ireland those national rights which the British Government has been asking them to die to win for Belgium. As long as that remains the case, the cause of Irish freedom is safe.

Believing that the British Government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland, the presence, in any one generation of Irishmen, of even a respectable minority, ready to die to affirm that truth, makes that Government for ever a usurpation and a crime against human progress.

I personally thank God that I have lived to see the day when thousands of Irish men and boys, and hundreds of Irish women and girls, were ready to affirm that truth, and to attest it with their lives if need be.

 James Connolly, Marxist Revolutionary
James Connolly is the ideological Father of Irish Republican Socialism. His words are as valid today as they were a Century ago. Even the most casual study of his writings confirm the Irish Republican Socialist vision that the working class can have no real freedom without economic freedom, ie, an Irish Workers’ Republic with the Proletariat in control of the means of production, commodities and exchange. Connolly correctly believed that the cause of national liberation and the class struggle are symbiotic.


Connolly who was originally from the Cowgate in Edinburgh, Scotland was only 5 foot in height but he wielded power that made him a giant amongst those one-dimensional Nationalists, many of whom went on to accept The Treaty,eventually turning borrowed British weaponry against former comrades and out-brutalising the British in their treatment of Irish Republicans. Back then the reformists labelled Republicans as ‘Irregulars’ and ‘Die hards’ today they’d be called ‘dissidents’ by the pro-establishment parties and media

Ireland’s best known Marxist revolutionary whose example of revolutionary Praxis (the combination of theory and action) was courageously tested to the bitter end.

The quote from Karl Marx’s The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, is apt::
“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, secondly as farce.”

The Irish historical dialectic, it’s cyclic nature was identified by Connolly and vindicated tragically. Perhaps James Connolly’s best known quotation acknowledges this this yet only Irish Republican Socialists have learned from it, in fact it should never be forgotten, especially in today’s times where many are being led by the nose by neo-Liberals posing as revolutionaries:

“If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.”

irsp imperialists out

Alex McGuigan


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