Photo by Tonya Massey
“We had a wee team of people in the City of Troy” — James Devine
TROY, N.Y. — In 1916, James Connolly led the Easter Rising in Dublin, which eventually resulted in the creation of the Irish Republic we know today. He was a freedom fighter, a husband, a father and a Socialist labor organizer. Connolly lived in Troy, N.Y. from 1903 to 1905, where he worked to promote socialist ideals in this city that once bustled with industry and inequality. He was executed by the British on May 12, 1916.
In 1986, Belfast native James Devine worked to create a monument to Connolly in Troy, to honor his years spent living here. Like Connolly, Devine was a labor organizer at the time. Host Duncan Crary speaks to Devine about Connolly, his monument and the Irish experience in America and in Northern Ireland.
The residue of James Connolly still remains in this small American city. Jon Flanders, a railroad machinist and labor organizer from Troy, works to continue the Connolly tradition through The James Connolly Forum. Crary speaks to Flanders about what it means to be a socialist during these modern times.
Also featured in this episode is an historical recording of labor leader William O’Brien, who recounts his memories of the executed 1916 leader James Connolly. Courtesy of the Bureau of Military History, with the cooperation of the Irish Folklore Commission.
(46 MB | 58:47)
MUSIC IN THIS EPISODE
“James Connolly” by Black 47, from “Black 47″ (1991).*
“Big Fellah” by Black 47, from “Home of the Brave” (1994).*
* Courtesy of Larry Kirwan.