Mar 28 2016

THE EASTER RISING AND THE SOVIET UNION: AN UNTOLD CHAPTER IN IRELAND’S GREAT REBELLION

This article by Brendan McGeever was first posted on OpenDemocracyUK at:- https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/brendan-mcgeever/easter-rising-and-soviet-union-untold-chapter-in-ireland-s-great-rebellion#.VvUvpKvURyY.twitter

 

THE EASTER RISING AND THE SOVIET UNION: AN UNTOLD CHAPTER IN IRELAND’S GREAT REBELLION

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In a previously undocumented corner of history, research in old Soviet archives shows the extent of the USSR’s interest in Ireland’s Easter Rising.

It is early July, 1920. Roddy Connolly, teenage participant in the Easter Rising, is travelling without a passport in a cargo boat through the Norwegian fiords. The destination: Soviet Russia. As they edge towards the northern tips of the Kola Peninsula, the boat is blown off course by an incoming storm, pushing them some 250 miles towards the North Pole. After bouts of seasickness, they eventually dock in a besieged Murmansk, where Connolly begins a three-day rail journey across Civil War-torn Russia. Finally, he reaches revolutionary Petrograd, just in time for the opening of the Second World Congress of the Communist International. On arrival he is warmly greeted by Vladimir Lenin, who informs him that not only has he read his father’s book Labour and Irish History, but that he rates him “head and shoulders” above his contemporaries in the European socialist movement (1).
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