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SIPTU President Jack O’Connor to launch ‘Young Connolly’ on Thursday, 3rd October September 30, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.


A new edition of ‘Young Connolly’ the seminal account of James Connolly’s early years by the late Sean Cronin, will be launched in the Citizen Press Ltd Office, 24a/25 Hill Street, Dublin 1, on Thursday the 3rd October, at 6.00 p.m.

SIPTU General President Jack O’Connor will launch the book at an event which also marks the formal opening of the new Citizen Press Ltd Offices.

The launch will include a discussion on the continued relevance of Connolly’s ideas to progressive politics in Ireland chaired by Workers’ Party Treasurer Sean Garland.

Young Connolly is a study of the 1913 Lockout and 1916 Rising leader’s early years in Ireland. Written by the former Irish Times journalist and leading political activist Sean Cronin who died in 2011.

The new edition published by Citizen Press Ltd has a foreword by Sean Garland, in which he states:

“We know that more than ever we need to have James Connolly’s direct and sharp analyses of capitalism to organise and lead the working class to Connolly’s objective of a Socialist Republic.”

The Citizen Press Ltd is an independent publishing house committed to printing books recording Ireland’s working class history and culture. The Citizen Press Ltd also publishes LookLeft, Ireland’s leading progressive magazine.

All are welcome to attend


1. beibhinn44 - September 30, 2013

Jack O’Connor? Seriously? Sigh….


Tawdy - October 1, 2013

I agree, an unfortunate choice, maybe they were both stuck?


2. Pete - September 30, 2013

Didn’t know O’Connor was a stick.


Tawdy - October 1, 2013

More a splinter!


3. Ghandi - October 1, 2013

“All are welcome to attend” I wonder?

Still the fixation with the TU leadership who have betrayed the Class they claim to represent.


4. CMK - October 1, 2013

This beggars belief. Were a ‘Young Connolly’ to emerge within SIPTU today, Jack O’Connor’s most important priority would be to make that he/she was marginalised as much as possible.

Were the Troika to issue medals for their ‘Irish Campaign’ 2010-2013 then Jack O’Connor and David Begg would merit the highest possible awards. These two, along with Shay Cody, have been the pivotal facilitators of austerity. They may not agree with austerity – which explains their waffling over the past few years – but they were never going to oppose it. It is the latter which has been priceless to the Troika and government.

This year I witnessed O’Connor refuse to condemn the FEMPI legislation, for instance. As direct an attack on workers as ever happened under Margaret Thatcher and yet O’Connor, and it’s fair to say most of the other ‘trade unionists’ in the room at the time, refused to condemn. Why? Because the Haddington Road ballot was in progress and FEMPI was a key weapon in his arsenal to frighten his members to accept the agreement. Then, once Haddington Road was in the bag, with supreme cynicism he comes out against FEMPI.

This joker, 100 years from the Lockout, is the most important ‘trade unionist’ in the country as leader of the largest union.

Best of luck with the Citizen Press and ‘Young Connolly’ but O’Connor’s participation in this event considerably undermines both, in my view.


5. D_D - October 1, 2013

An interesting and informative little book and about time it was back in print.


6. TopCat - October 1, 2013

Whether we like it or not Jack O’Connor is the elected head of the biggest working class organisation in the country, an organisation founded by James Connolly. If he is attending the event to participate in an open discussion on the legacy of Connolly it has to be welcomed. There is a bit of contrast between the two named people participating, Garland wanted for his “political activities” into 70s and still motoring on, O’Connor deeply tarnished due to an undying love for a rightwing Labour party but well enough paid for it – the question is if Connolly had lived could he have went in either direction?


CMK - October 1, 2013

Some fair enough points there, TC. But O’Connor is a man who is on record as stressing the futility of struggle for workers in the current juncture. He has ceded the whole point of trade unionism – that mass withdrawal of labour will force employers to compromise – by stating that he couldn’t possibly lead workers out ‘to be slaughtered’. That’s precisely what Larkin and Connolly did in 1913, and historians such as Padraig Yeates are quite critical of both of them for it, but, notwithstanding the defeat of 1913 it did serve as a reference point for future, more successful struggles which were not of the same scale but which achieved real progress for workers. O’Connor has sown nothing but disillusionment since 2008 and his caution, being too charitable to him, has sent workers’ position in the economy back decades. In the space of five short years public sector workers have been knocked back severely; SIPTU stood by (and quietly supported) the property tax and will support water charges; young people are lumbered with jobsbridge, jobsplus, gateway or emigration and will, if things continue as they are, will be in their late twenties by the time they get a proper, decent paying job. All of this has whistled by the top floor of Liberty Hall and all we get in response is the ‘better, fairer way’ crap that was ignored by government when it first came out in 2009, is ignored today and will be ignored in the future.


Bob Smiles - October 1, 2013

Not forgetting the love-in with Bertie for years


RosencrantzisDead - October 1, 2013

The biggest trick Fianna Fail ever pulled was managing to get into bed with the unions and stay there.


CMK - October 1, 2013

Yes, Fianna Fail have been kicked out of the bed (to continue with the metaphor) but the unions are still there and it’s a cozy as it ever was. Recession? What recession!


workers republic - October 1, 2013

In answer to Top Cat’s last question , if Connolly had lived and remained true to the Socialist Republican policy he espoused all his life, he would have went neither way! Neither supporting Right Wing austerity nor trucking with North Korea, with it’s nepotism , cult of leader-worship and absence of any semblance of democracy .
T.C. makes a fair point of holding leaders to account in an open forum, but will this happen or will J.O’C get away with platitudes and waffle about how SIPTU is opposed to austerity and protecting jobs .


7. TopCat - October 1, 2013

CMK – those are all fair points, and it would be interesting to hear O’Connor’s answers to them if he is part taking in an open discussion as Citizen Press has stated. Look Left publishes views from it would seem across the left, including an interview with O’Connor, I think it was its first issue. For to long trade union leaders have been allowed to defend their strategy to easily due to those criticizing them shouting them down or getting personal, what is needed is rational debate on what is their strategy (which may amount to no more than defending their pensions), how they place this in the context of the founders of the Irish trade union movement and how can it be politically advanced. Then they must face rational criticism on their claims. Through such a process we could start to get a bit of democracy again in the trade union movement (actually probably democracy for the first time) and building something. If Citizen Press is seeking to facilitate such engagement it has to be applauded. That O’Connor seems to willing to engage in such a process also places him quite a distant above the other SIPTU bureaucrats.


8. Regie - October 1, 2013

….an independent publishing company…..the laughter continues.


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