Reminiscences of the Connolly Association
Date:1978
Organisation:Connolly Association
Author:C. Desmond Greaves
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

1st August 2016

Many thanks to David Convery and John Cunningham of the Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour & Class  for the following document to the Archive. This 20 page pamphlet was published by the Connolly Association and written by C. Desmond Greaves in 1978.

In it Greaves offers an overview of the history of the Connolly Association. In the Introduction he notes that:

I would not wish to offer this little work as more than it i. Its composition arose for the following circumstances. For several years now a distinguished Dublin academic has been working on a definitive history of the organisation. it became clear that it could not possibly be ready in time for the fortieth anniversary of the Association’s foundation. Rather late in the day we asked fi he would write a pamphlet. Again it was clear that it could not be ready in time.

And:

Obviously when time was so short I could not possibly attempt a potted history of the Association. But as a member since 1941, and on its executive council courteously since then, I have many memories. I formed a rough scheme and wrote my reminiscences. But thought it desirable to prefix a brief account of the organisation which preceded the Connolly Association.

He continues:

No attempt is made to assess the achievement of the Association, though I would say that it played an important part in winning for James Connolly’s work the recognition it now enjoyed.

The document is divided into four chapters, Origins, Early Days, Readjustment and Civil Rights. There is much of interest, the first chapter looks at the experience of Irish and political movements associated with them in Britain from the 19th century on. In the last chapter there is mention of the split in Republicanism and it touches on what life was like for the Irish in Britain in the 1970s.

All told a very interesting – if admittedly partisan, as Greaves notes in the Introduction – account.

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