In a post on Connolly last week I mentioned that the reality of Easter 1916 was much different than the images we have made or had handed to us. As luck would have it Tommy McKearney, currently an organizer for the Independent Workers Union, spoke at an event organized by eirigi and bringing out hundreds on the politics of 1916 at Conway Mill in Belfast recently on just that topic.
There Tommy presented The Rising in the context of an organized Dublin working class with revolutionary leadership and a rich tradition of struggle from which to draw lessons in a detailed and absorbing speech presented below. The role of Connolly, Larkin and the organizations they led are given close attention as is the broader situation of the European socialist movement in the midst of the First World War.
Other speakers included Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh on the cultural revival that proceeded 1916, Damian Lawlor spoke on the the role of the youth organization Fianna Eireann before and during The Rising, Brendan Mac Cionnaith discussed the Fenian tradition, including its relationship to the First International and the Irish Republican Brotherhood. A report of that meeting as well as videos of the other speakers can be found on the eirigi site here. Highly recommended viewing comrades. Vodpod videos no longer available.