New selection of James Connolly's work to be launched in Derry this week

James Connolly.
James Connolly.

A new selection of James Connolly’s writing and speeches - edited by Derryman Shaun Harkin - will be launched in the city later this week.

Today, Tuesday, June 5, marks the 150th anniversary of the seminal socialist republican’s birth, so in order to mark that occasion the ‘The James Connolly Reader,’ will be launched in The Playhouse on Friday, June 8, at 6.30 p.m.

Published by Chicago’s Haymarket Books, it’s been put together by Mr. Harkin, who said: “James Connolly made a tremendous contribution to the international socialist movement as a party builder, organiser, agitator, trade union militant, theorist, propagandist and anti-imperialist.

“His impact on Irish politics continues today. His vision of a ‘workers republic’ has become more relevant as more people reject austerity and capitalism. He deserves to be celebrated and studied.”

Eamonn McCann, who will host the event, said: “James Connolly was an uncompromising fighter for Irish freedom and a socialist for all the world. He lived in tumultuous times in dire poverty in Scotland, Ireland and the US. Everywhere, he enriched the working class.

“Connolly was teacher of socialism and a militant union organiser. He wielded words like a scimitar, slicing through the thickets of lies to get to capitalism’s noxious heart. He wrote socialist songs which can still ring the rafters today.

“Connolly died in the struggle for national liberation in Dublin in 1916, having never given an inch to patriots who couldn’t stand socialism. With an erudite introduction and a glittering selection of his penetrating, polemical, incisive, inspiring writings, Shaun Harkin has produced the Connolly book which socialists across the world have been waiting for.”