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A Descriptive History of the Irish Citizen Army by Kevin Morley

A Descriptive History of the Irish Citizen Army by Kevin Morley


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The Irish Citizen Army, one of the more obscure elements of Ireland's revolutionary past, was born out of the events which occurred in and around Dublin during 1913. These events became known as the "1913 Dublin Lockout". The hardship, poverty and police brutality suffered by the working class of Dublin during the "Lockout" ranks among the worst ever witnessed in a Western European country, past or present. The brutal acts of malicious violence meted out on the workers by the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) and Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) reached a level perhaps matched only by the actions carried out by the police during the British Coal Miners strike of 1984-85. It was against this backdrop the ICA was formed. The maternity ward of the army was a most unlikely place to say the least. At a meeting of the Industrial Peace Committee on 12th November 1913 in the rooms of the Reverend R.M. Gwynn at 40 Trinity College the idea of instilling some pride and discipline into the workers, through drilling and organisation was discussed. These discussions were to give birth to the Irish Citizen Army which progressed from being a workers defence force into a revolutionary socialist armed force. The first Commandant of the army was James Larkin whose statue can be found in O'Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland who was also the Secretary of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. On his departure for the United States of America James Connolly assumed command of the army and Larkins former position in the ITGWU, his statue can be located opposite Liberty Hall in Berressford Place again in Dublin.
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