Correspondence between Nora Connolly O’Brien and Leon Trotsky
The Plough and The Stars is proud to re-publish correspondence between Nora Connolly O’Brien and Leon Trotsky courtesy of the Marxists.Org website. Nora Connolly O’Brien was the daughter of the ideological founder of Irish Republican Socialism, Marxist Revolutionary and Commander of the 1916 Easter Rising James Connolly. Nora was also an admirer and ideological ally of the founder of the IRSP and INLA, Seamus Costello. She stated that Seamus Costello was:
the leader who would bring about an organisation such as my father wished to bring about. Of all the politicians and political people with whom I have had conversations, and who called themselves followers of Connolly, he was the only one who truly understood what James Connolly meant when he spoke of his vision of the freedom of the Irish people. In him, I had hoped at last after all these years, a true leader had come, who could and would build an organisation such as James Connolly tried to do.
I dislike very much to have to use a phrase that is a cliche – to say that he is “a great loss”. But there has been no greater loss to those fighting the same fight. Seamus Costello’s death was a loss to the cause of Irish freedom.
As Seamus Costello was a true disciple of James Connolly and his teachings, I can only hope that among those who were associated with him and who learned from him, there will be another disciple to take his place and build an organisation among the workers and people of Ireland that will be bound to bring Ireland James Connolly’s and Seamus Costello’s vision of freedom.
Leon Trotsky, hero of the Russian Revolution, victorious Commander of the Red Army during the Civil War when 14 invading foreign armies joined with the ‘White Russian’ counter-revolutionaries attempting to strangle the epochal drive to construct the Socialist Order. Leon Trotsky was Lenin’s chosen successor and needs little introduction…
A comrade here has promised to get this letter to you.
First to introduce myself. I am the daughter of James Connolly, a worker in the Socialist movement all his life, and as you know, Commandant General in the Rising of Easter Week in 1916. He was executed.
I learn that you are extremely interested in Ireland, and the development of the revolutionary movements here. If you desire it, I would gladly supply you with whatever items of information you require. There is not at present any Labour paper, but there will be by the end of May. I will send you copies if you wish them. There is one paper issued by the National Revolutionaries, the Irish Republican Army, and one issued by the CP. These also I will send if you wish.
I hold an official position in the Irish Citizen Army, I am a member of the Irish Labour Party, and am in close touch with the officials of the Irish Republican Army.
The Labour Party recently adopted a new programme and constitution, the first step towards achieving the leading role in the revolutionary movement in Ireland. The new programme is not yet a correct revolutionary one, but it is such an enormous advance on the previous one, that we are not indulging in any carping or cavilling criticism. Through it they can supply an alternative to Fianna Fáil (the majority Republican party in the Irish parliament, An Dáil) as by adopting James Connolly’s doctrine of the twin ideals of national and social independence they have ended the divorce between the national and Labour movements. This programme will be ready shortly. I could also send you a copy.
This is not much of a letter, really it is only to establish contact.
Nora Connolly O’Brien
I was very touched by your kind letter. A great deal of circumstances prevented me from writing to you immediately. I always have been greatly interested in Ireland, but unfortunately my interest remained only platonic. I never had the opportunity to study in detail Irish history and politics. Since my early days I have got, through Marx and Engels, the greatest sympathy and esteem for the heroic struggle of the Irish for their independence. The tragic fate of your courageous father met me in Paris during the war. I bear him faithfully in remembrance. I made up my mind to read your book about your father in the very next time.
The revolutionary tradition of the national struggle is a precious good. Would it be possible to imbue the Irish proletariat with it for its Socialist class struggle, the working class of your country could, in spite of the numerical weakness of your population, play an important historical role and give a mighty impulse to the British working class now paralysed by the senile bureaucracy.
I take the liberty to send you in the same time my little book, In Defence of Terrorism.
This entry was posted on February 23, 2016 at 5:12 pm and is filed under INLA, International socialism, Internationalism, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Uncategorized with tags alex McGuigan, Correspondence, INLA, ireland, IRSP, James Connolly, Leon Trotsky, Marxism, Nora Connolly O'Brien, Seamus Costello. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.