Four Lives – IMPACT trade union’s roots in the 1916 Rising

IMPACT trade union launches special booklet to mark 1916 centenary

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Shay Cody, IMPACT General Secretary, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, TD, Minister of State for New Communities, Culture, Equality and Drug Strategy and Éanna Ó Conghaile, Sean Connolly’s Grandson

“The labour movement in 1916 played a core role in making its progressive, workers’-focused ideals central to the Proclamation and continued to work to make those ideals a reality over the last hundred years” – Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, Minister of State for New Communities, Culture, Equality and Drug Strategy, launching Four Lives – IMPACT trade union’s roots in the 1916 Rising.

IMPACT has launched a new booklet: Four Lives – IMPACT trade union’s roots in the 1916 Rising. It tells the stories of four participants in the 1916 Rising, each of whom were members of IMPACT’s forerunner organisations.

Four Lives features the stories of Eamonn Ceannt, Seán Connolly, Harry Nicholls and Con O’Donovan. Ceannt, Connolly and Nicholls were workers and trade union members that played distinct roles in the events of the Rising. O’Donovan was a student who later became an activist and was elected to the highest office in his trade union.

The booklet was launched at the union’s Dublin office yesterday (Thursday 28th January) and was attended by members of the Ceannt, Connolly and O’Donovan families.

The booklet was officially launched by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, Minister of State for New Communities, Culture, Equality and Drug Strategy.

The booklet was compiled and written by IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody. Mr Cody said the publication was IMPACT’s way to mark the centenary of the Rising. “Members of IMPACT’s forerunner organisations played a central role in the Rising, as part of the wider trade union movement.

“This is not a comprehensive account of every member of every union that preceded IMPACT that was involved in the 1916 rising. The four lives are a sample.

“That said, these are four important and symbolic lives. They represent activists in the trade union and labour movement that were involved in the forerunner organisations before IMPACT – namely, the Dublin Municipal Officers Association, the United Corporation Workmen of Dublin Trades Union and, later, the Institution of Professional Civil Servants.

“In working on this booklet it becomes clear that history is more complex than the simple version often handed down.

“They were participants and witnesses to events that shook the nation and that also laid the ground for the turbulent years that followed. These were the years that would lead, ultimately, to the creation of an Irish state.

“The Rising affected the lives of thousands of Dubliners as the city became a turbulent and complicated battleground. This publication is designed to capture their unique perspective, and to provide an historical context of IMPACT’s roots to today’s union members” he said.

Launching the booklet, Minister Ó Ríordáin said “It is a great honour to launch Four Lives – IMPACT trade union’s roots in the 1916 Rising. The Easter Rising was a momentous moment in our nation’s history and it is right that we both remember and commemorate the movements which came together to advance the ideals of the Proclamation. In particular, the labour movement in 1916 played a core role in making its progressive, workers’-focused ideals central to the Proclamation and continued to work to make those ideals a reality over the last hundred years. I commend IMPACT trade union for highlighting their roots in this pivotal moment in Ireland’s history by publishing this booklet.”

Take a look at the launch picture gallery HERE