from our good friends at Come Here To Me (an excellent blog of Dublin history, politics & football)
In Mairtin O’Cathain‘s book With a bent elbow and a clenched fist: a brief history of the Glasgow anarchists, there is a short but fascinating mention of James Connolly.
Connolly’s paper, The Workers Republic, was suppressed by the authorities in December 1914 and O’Cathain writes that it was the “Glasgow Anarchist Group that took over the printing of the paper … and smuggled it into Ireland”. Apparently, the police in Britain raided several anarchist printing presses, including London’s Freedom Press, but never caught the Glasgow group.
In Donal Nevin’s fantastic biography of Connolly, ‘A Full Life’, there is a mention of Glasgow comrades taking over the printing of The Workers Republic. However, Nevin points to Connolly’s old colleagues in the Socialist Labour Party. More specifically, Arthur MacManus who was the one who did the setting, composing, printing and then smuggled the copies to Dublin using the pseudonym ‘Glass’. (Belfast-born MacManus, son of an Irish fenian, later became the first chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain and was buried in Red Square, Moscow after his death in 1927.)
As Nevin backs up his claim with a reference to C.Desond Greave’s book ‘The Life and Times of James Connolly’, the evidence stacks in his favour.
Speaking of Connolly, I’ve always liked the story of Antrim-born Anarchist and Irish Citizen Army founder Jack White traveling to the Rhondda and Aberdare valleys in South Wales to try bring the miners out on strike to save his life.
On 25 May, thirteen days after Connolly’s execution, White was charged with trying to ‘sow the seeds of sedition in an area which had nothing to do with the grievances of Ireland either real or imaginary’ and at a time when ‘a peaceful settlement was being arrived at’. He was sentenced to two sentences of three months.