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This book is the first and so far only biography of Irish labour politician, Roddy Connolly, the son of James. His was a career wholly unique in Irish politics. It spanned 65 years and linked in the process the revolutionary politics of the 1916-23 era with the more moderate Irish Labour Party politics of the 1970s. Roddy Connolly took part in the Easter Rising and five years later formed Ireland's first Communist Party. After the dissolution of the CPI, and a brief involvement in the short-lived Workers' Party of Ireland in 1926, Connolly joined the Irish Labour Party. His intention was to take the party to the left, into an alliance with left-wing Irish republicans and communists, and in 1934 he participated in the Republican Congress. In the 1940s Connolly was a twice-elected Labour TD, and in the 1970s returned to the fore as party chairman and Senate member. He died in 1980.
The three main aims of the book are: to chronicle and explain the career of one of the Irish Left's most important, if forgotten, figures; to offer a window into the development of the organisations and parties in which he was involved; and to shed more light on and challenge existing interpretations of many key periods in 20th century Irish history.
Charlie McGuire has been a trade union representative in the construction union, UCATT, a journalist, and a tutor in the department of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway. He is currently a history researcher at the University of Teesside