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16 May 2016

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Belfast republicans remember James Connolly with generational links

• Falls Road 12 May – Marking the 100th anniversary of James Connolly's execution

THE EXECUTION of 1916 Rising leader James Connolly in Dublin was marked in Belfast on Thursday 12 May with a parade along the Falls Road from Glenalina Terrace – where the Connolly family lived between 1910 and 1913 – to the recently-unveiled statue of the revolutionary at the offices of the Falls Community Council.

Leading the parade was a contingent of youth from the Mairéad Farrell Republican Youth Committee dressed in Irish Citizen Army replica uniform and lead by Ruairí Flynn carrying the Citizen Army Starry Plough flag.

And it was a proud moment for the young Short Strand republican because on the 50th anniversary of Connolly's execution in 1966, it was his grandfather Patsy who lead the parade carrying the Starry Plough.

Also on the march was long-time trade unionist and republican activist Liam McBrinn who, as a young boy, took part in the parade.

Gerry McCormack, a divisional organiser with trade union SIPTU, delivered the main oration, while Christy McQuillan, also of SIPTU, recited the Proclamation.

Amongst the crowd was a number of trades unionists from Australia who were in Ireland on union business and one of the delegation, Oisín McAleenan of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union read a biography of Connolly.

In his speech, Gerry McCormack reaffirmed Connolly's commitment to the overthrow of capitalism and the need to end British rule in Ireland, with Gerry proclaiming the Connolly quote: “The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland, and the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour.”

North Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Gerry McCabe finished the night off with a rendition of Christy Moore's Ordinary Man.

See more pictures »

Trade unionist and Sinn Féin activist Liam McBrinn, who as a boy took part in the 50th anniversary of Connolly's execution in 1966, with Gerry McCormack and Christy McQuillan and Sinn Féin and SIPTU activist Jim McVeigh

Trade unionist and Sinn Féin activist Liam McBrinn, who as a boy took part in the 50th anniversary of Connolly's execution in 1966, with Gerry McCormack and Christy McQuillan and Sinn Féin and SIPTU activist Jim McVeigh

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