Roderick James Connolly took following in his father’s footsteps quite literally. He was born on this day in 1901 and was the only son of Lillie and James Connolly. James was a devout socialist, a revolutionary leader, and one of the men executed for leading Ireland’s Easter Rising in 1916. “Roddy” as he was known, was only fifteen when his father was killed which affected him for the rest of his life. Roderick was driven by the same devotion to socialism that his father had believed in and later in life he went into journalism and politics, just like his dad had before him.
On June 5th, 147 years ago, James Connolly was born. Although he later became an Irish symbol of Republicanism, he was not born in Ireland – and in many ways, he did not fit in the Republican movement. He was born in Scotland and was a devout socialist who was profoundly engaged in the causes of Labor and Equality first and foremost. He was certainly an enemy of the state and an energetic agitator, but many of the tenets he adhered to and espoused, were not quite in line with his partners in the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
Since today is his birthday, here are some little things that you may or may not know about Mr. James Connolly.