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James Connolly's last hours, to be published


Little_Korean

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A forthcoming book based on the memoir of British Army chaplain George Kendall who was present with the British reinforcements in 1916 and saw many of the events there first-hand, including James Connolly's last hours before his execution.

Atheist James Connolly turned to God hours before his death according to British Army chaplain

The revelation is contained in a manuscript found in an old filing box of documents in England which chronicles the life of British Army chaplain George Kendall.

He was at Connolly’s side in the hours before the Citizen’s army leader was executed for his part in leading the 1916 rising against British rule in Ireland.

The proposed book, entitled ‘Daring All things – My Story’ gives a first-hand account of the capture of the rebel leaders.
Amazing what you can find left lying around.

Apparently there really are no atheists in foxholes:

“Speaking to me on the first visit, he said in answer to a question of mine about his attitude – ‘You must know the saying.’ ‘What saying?’ I asked. And he replied: ‘The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.’ This too was the saying I heard as I spoke to his men in the Dublin Castle hospital.

“Listening, I felt it was not my duty to condemn, or argue. Connolly was, for years, a professed agnostic, but at the hour of death, he returned to the faith of his fathers.

“That night a Catholic priest was admitted to the hospital and he administered Holy Communion to Connolly and gave him absolution.
Whether or not Connolly returned to the faith of anything is for me the least interesting part of the account, though I can understand why the priest would express a professional concern.

Definitely a take on the 1916 Rising from a pro-Empire point of view:

He wrote: “Personally, I was fond of the Irish people and therefore overwhelmed by this tragedy caused by the misguidance of the leaders of the rebellion.

“But there was another cause. Many loyal and committed men told me it was their considered opinion that the outbreak would have been impossible but for the gross and unpardonable laxity, long continued, of the Irish government at that time.”
With vivid first-hand details like this, could be a very useful source when it's published:

“I stood in the middle of blazing streets with snipers’ bullets whizzing around. I entered Liberty Hall when it was captured. I visited Dublin Castle and talked to our wounded and the Sinn Feiners. They were lying in the same wards and receiving the same treatment.”

The book also details how, after witnessing the capture of Countess Markievicz ‘in her brilliant green male uniform’, Kendall was given her fur rug and kept it for years ‘until it perished of moth’.
 

Half Nelson

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A forthcoming book based on the memoir of British Army chaplain George Kendall who was present with the British reinforcements in 1916 and saw many of the events there first-hand, including James Connolly's last hours before his execution.

Atheist James Connolly turned to God hours before his death according to British Army chaplain



Amazing what you can find left lying around.

Apparently there really are no atheists in foxholes:



Whether or not Connolly returned to the faith of anything is for me the least interesting part of the account, though I can understand why the priest would express a professional concern

Definitely a take on the 1916 Rising from a pro-Empire point of view:



With vivid first-hand details like this, could be a very useful source when it's published:
That shredding sound you hear is the rapid
changing of a few avatars:;)
 

gatsbygirl20

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I remember seeing in the Archives of the National Library in Kildare St. some letters sent by the leaders of the Rising while they awaited execution.

There was a great difference between say Pearse's writings, and the yearning, poignant letter sent by--I think it was--Michael O'Hanrahan to his wife, where he longed to hold his little boy in his arms again...

Also there is a copy of a note scrawled in the rain by the British commanding officer General John Maxwell, and given to Nurse O'Farrell commending her efficiency in helping with the orderly surrender of the battalions and hoping that this would be taken into account if she were arrested

The National Library is going to move out the Yeats exhibition and install a 1916 exhibition in the next year or so

Presumably all these fascinating documents, letters and diaries will be on display...
 

Lúidín

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The minister recalls "the capture and execution" of the 1916 leader.
Spot the error!
 

Radix

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"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance", I think were the reported words of the man.

If true, they were as appropriate then as they are now.
 

stopdoingstuff

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Glad to see he converted in the end- in spite of Church teaching at the time, I would hope that anyone cool enough to shoot at the British Empire deserves the 40 virgin treatment. Quite surprised to hear about the "fur rug" of Countess Markievicz, though decidedly unsurprised to hear that it "perished of moth"- she never struck me a fun-loving type.
 

Murph

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Am I the only one surprised to hear this about Connolly - and why we hadnt heard this before now. When was the diary written -exactly how long after the supposed event?

also - the chaplain says he was also in Dublin on some secret business - was he a spook and was the writings intended for some black propaganda purpose - or perhaps they were accurate. Still, I find it very odd that no-one else present had raised this before now.
 

R3volution_R3ady

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James Connolly, the Marxist.

No thanks.
 

R3volution_R3ady

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"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance", I think were the reported words of the man.

If true, they were as appropriate then as they are now.
James Connolly was most certainly NOT interested in Liberty.
 

Desmond Delaney

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This is quite interesting wonder if its true im his great great grandson and never heard any thing like that from my nan.
 

Cato

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Am I the only one surprised to hear this about Connolly - and why we hadnt heard this before now. When was the diary written -exactly how long after the supposed event?

also - the chaplain says he was also in Dublin on some secret business - was he a spook and was the writings intended for some black propaganda purpose - or perhaps they were accurate. Still, I find it very odd that no-one else present had raised this before now.
I've read of this before:

“At 1am (Friday) the car came for me. I heard Connolly’s confession and gave him Holy Communion. Then I left while he was given a light meal. I had a long talk with (Captain) Stanley in the Castle yard,” he said.

“He told me that he had been very much impressed by Connolly and that Surgeon Tobin had been very stuck too by his character. He told me an amusing story he had from Surgeon Tobin. I don’t know if I ought to narrate it.

“Now the time appointed (2am) — Connolly was to be taken to Kilmainham. I had a few words. I said that the men who would execute him were soldiers — probably they knew nothing about him — and like soldiers — would simply obey orders and fire, and I wanted him to feel no anger against them, but to say, as Our Lord said on Calvary, ‘Father, forgive them’ and to say a prayer for them.”

‘I do, Father,’ he answered. ‘I respect every man who does his duty.’

“James Connolly was then brought down to the car and laid on a stretcher in it. I sat in the ambulance car with him and said a last word to him before they took him from the car in Kilmainham yard, He was put sitting on a chair and the order was given. They fired, and Father Eugene McCarthy, who had been in attendance on Sean McDermott earlier, went over and anointed Connolly. I had stood just behind the firing line. It was a scene I should not ask to witness again. I had got to know Connolly — to wonder at his strength of character and marvelous power of concentration. I had got to regret that I had not known him longer and now I had to say goodbye. All I could do was to return with a heavy heart and to offer the Holy Sacrifice for his soul. Now I thank God that I knew him.”

(Source: Witness statements, The Capuchin Annual, 1966, Curious Journey, 1998).
http://www.easter1916.ie/index.php/rising/witnesses/
 

pragmaticapproach

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James Connolly, the Marxist.

No thanks.
He was a man of his time, and actually came from a working class background, unlike the middle class ponces with che guevara T-shirts, who like to think of themselves as "socialists". Even if he got it terribly wrong on economics there is no denying his bravery, he had the balls to take up arms and put aside any ideological differences with his fellow rebels to fight a common enemy.
 

pragmaticapproach

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James Connolly was most certainly NOT interested in Liberty.
He was concerned with national liberty, distinct from the Individualist understanding of the word. Socialism was in vogue at the time, so I wouldnt fault him for it.
 

Cato

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Charitable and open minded comments there, pragmatic. Nice to see someone rising above polemic and slogan casting.
 

Little_Korean

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The Indo also has an article on it.

Lost memoir tells how James Connolly returned to his faith before execution

Mostly the same info in the IrishCentral article with a few other titbits:

Born in a small Yorkshire village, George Kendall became a Primitive Methodist Minister. In 1913, while canvassing for new members for his church outside Windsor Castle, he was invited to tea by Queen Mary and became a lifelong friend of the British royal.
Wonder if he got any new members out of it?

Although he put some of his experiences in the memoir, including a brief chapter on Dublin in the aftermath of the Rising, he said, "half my story will remain untold" because of the confidential nature of his work.
Spoilsport.
 

R3volution_R3ady

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He was a man of his time, and actually came from a working class background, unlike the middle class ponces with che guevara T-shirts, who like to think of themselves as "socialists". Even if he got it terribly wrong on economics there is no denying his bravery, he had the balls to take up arms and put aside any ideological differences with his fellow rebels to fight a common enemy.
He was concerned with national liberty, distinct from the Individualist understanding of the word. Socialism was in vogue at the time, so I wouldnt fault him for it.
Well, it is one thing to say socialism was in vogue at the time and that it appealed to the uneducated man or woman in the street that felt they'd been dealt a bad hand by the aristocrats. But it is entirely different to apply that to James Connolly. Firstly, Connolly was one of the biggest proponents of Marxist theory in his day. He was an economic ignoramus but even so all one had to do if searching for success was to look west, not east. "Liberty" in Connollys mind was his childish fantasy. A world built in his view.

I wouldn't dance up and down in celebration of Karl Marx. So why must we put that aside just because Connolly happened to be an Irishman? It doesn't matter where you were born, even Ireland, anyone pushing that kind of agenda is an enemy to prosperity and freedom. And what, do people think, would have been drooling out of his mouth had he survived and gone on to situate himself in some form of position? I am horrified at the thought.
 

pragmaticapproach

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Well, it is one thing to say socialism was in vogue at the time and that it appealed to the uneducated man or woman in the street that felt they'd been dealt a bad hand by the aristocrats. But it is entirely different to apply that to James Connolly. Firstly, Connolly was one of the biggest proponents of Marxist theory in his day. He was an economic ignoramus but even so all one had to do if searching for success was to look west, not east. "Liberty" in Connollys mind was his childish fantasy. A world built in his view.

I wouldn't dance up and down in celebration of Karl Marx. So why must we put that aside just because Connolly happened to be an Irishman? It doesn't matter where you were born, even Ireland, anyone pushing that kind of agenda is an enemy to prosperity and freedom. And what, do people think, would have been drooling out of his mouth had he survived and gone on to situate himself in some form of position? I am horrified at the thought.
Firstly, you're partaking in an ideologically biased analysis of history, or even a "year zero" attitude, whereby everything must be re-evaluated based on your libertarian worldview. The history of humanity is one big learning curve, one which is ongoing, so it is mistaken to assume that perfect knowledge existed or even exists today.

As for Connolly, he was a man acting on his convictions, he had his own particular vision, and of course his economics was flawed, but he was not and is not by any stretch of the imagination the only flawed ideologue.

The man in my avatar would have had contempt for both libertarians and socialists(he despised enlightenment values), he had as much contempt for bourgeois society as he did proletariat. Of course, I personally lean in the direction of classical liberalism and favour free markets and small government, but there are indeed flaws with libertarianism, as there are with any approach.

For example, I dont agree with open borders and forced multiculturalism, yet many hardcore libertarians do, I also believe that an excessive focus on the accumulation of material wealth, material comforts and lack of respect for the concept of nationhood leads to social decay(effeminate males, masculine women), but this I see as more an issue for individuals in society to address rather than the state.
 
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R3volution_R3ady

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Firstly, you're partaking in an ideologically biased analysis of history, or even a "year zero" attitude, whereby everything must be re-evaluated based on your libertarian worldview. The history of humanity is one big learning curve, one which is ongoing, so it is mistaken to assume that perfect knowledge existed or even exists today.

As for Connolly, he was a man acting on his convictions, he had his own particular vision, and of course his economics was flawed, but he was not and is not by any stretch of the imagination the only flawed ideologue.

The man in my avatar would have had contempt for both libertarians and socialists(he despised enlightenment values such), he had as much contempt for bourgeois society as he did proletariat. Of course, I personally lean in the direction of classical liberalism and favour free markets and small government, but there are indeed flaws with libertarianism, as there are with any approach.

For example, I dont agree with open borders and forced multiculturalism, yet many hardcore libertarians do, I also believe that an excessive focus on the accumulation of material wealth, material comforts and lack of respect for the concept of nationhood leads to social decay(effeminate males, masculine women), but this I see as more an issue for individuals in society to address rather than the state.
Connolly was an economic illiterate, that is something we both agree on. Nevertheless, I understand it was impossible he could have foreseen the disastrous road socialism would take. However apart from what I consider an immoral issue of force (socialism) which is what Connolly adamantly stood over, the main objection I have is this willing fawning over Connolly for the sole fact that he was one of the rebels. 1916 has been romanticised to such an extent. We must remember that good men and men with unsavoury intentions and agendas also took part. In hindsight, Connolly was one of the latter and he should be treated as such. This was a man obsessed in bringing about a socialist Ireland. This wasn't your average guy on the building site. He was leader of several socialist organisation. Many of them violent.

With regards to libertarianism and forced culture....I don't see a connection. Early America was not concerned with forced multiculturalism. What they had was a land they could escape to without paying overseas Kings taxes and where they could have some remote economic freedom. That was the country immigrants from the four corners of the world died trying to reach. It was a magnet. It's nothing about forced multiculturalism. If anything, a concept of forced multiculturalism is a government creation. I don't know of too many libertarians that want to force much of anything on anybody. It's just inevitable that others will want to come. I don't believe in pulling down the shutters on people coming here and I understand you don't either. Come to think of it, neither would Connolly. ;)

Anyway, we're getting off topic. I'll say one last thing about Connolly. He could have looked west and found prosperity. Instead, he became so warped in his fantasy (an ideology based around force) that he was willing to go to such lengths as engage in violence, disruption (1916 aside). There were plenty of other economists with ideas around at the time but Connolly had his mind made up. But we can use a similar line of thought and apply it to just about anyone when looking back in hindsight....from Hitler to Fidel etc etc. A great bunch of lads that didn't know what they were doing at the time.
 

pragmaticapproach

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Connolly was an economic illiterate, that is something we both agree on. Nevertheless, I understand it was impossible he could have foreseen the disastrous road socialism would take. However apart from what I consider an immoral issue of force (socialism) which is what Connolly adamantly stood over, the main objection I have is this willing fawning over Connolly for the sole fact that he was one of the rebels. 1916 has been romanticised to such an extent. We must remember that good men and men with unsavoury intentions and agendas also took part. In hindsight, Connolly was one of the latter and he should be treated as such. This was a man obsessed in bringing about a socialist Ireland. This wasn't your average guy on the building site. He was leader of several socialist organisation. Many of them violent.

With regards to libertarianism and forced culture....I don't see a connection. Early America was not concerned with forced multiculturalism. What they had was a land they could escape to without paying overseas Kings taxes and where they could have some remote economic freedom. That was the country immigrants from the four corners of the world died trying to reach. It was a magnet. It's nothing about forced multiculturalism. If anything, a concept of forced multiculturalism is a government creation. I don't know of too many libertarians that want to force much of anything on anybody. It's just inevitable that others will want to come. I don't believe in pulling down the shutters on people coming here and I understand you don't either. Come to think of it, neither would Connolly. ;)

Anyway, we're getting off topic. I'll say one last thing about Connolly. He could have looked west and found prosperity. Instead, he became so warped in his fantasy (an ideology based around force) that he was willing to go to such lengths as engage in violence, disruption (1916 aside). There were plenty of other economists with ideas around at the time but Connolly had his mind made up. But we can use a similar line of thought and apply it to just about anyone when looking back in hindsight....from Hitler to Fidel etc etc. A great bunch of lads that didn't know what they were doing at the time.

Just in relation to the United States, it never really was libertarian in any meaningful sense, it was really just an offshoot of European civilisation without an established aristocracy, more free in many respects than the old world, but not by any means a utopia. In the U.S there is a tendency for libertarians to rewrite history or at least romanticise the early years of that nation.
often individual states were tyrannical and slavery was widely practiced in the southern states well into the 19th century.

By forced multiculturalism, I was referring more to the fact that many "natural rights" libertarians take it for granted that everyone else shares their conception of liberty, even those from comparatively illiberal cultures. I think this is dangerously naive and is one of the reasons why I would never become a fully fledged libertarian. A change in the people that make up a society will lead to a change in its value system, and in this sense it is forced.(ie Muslim population in Britain and France clamouring for sharia law)

Anyway like you said, its off topic, so I'll leave it at that.
 
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