Limerick remembers its
You are welcome to our
website. Here you will find information on an event that put
Limerick in world headlines 90 years ago.
This anniversary of the Limerick Soviet was marked by a
number of events organised in the city.
You will find a report on these activities on our
Mary O'Donnell of the Limerick Soviet
Commemoration Committee introduces Jack O'Connor, President of SIPTU and
Liam Cahill, author of the Forgotten Revolution at the Seminar at
the Hunt Museum
At a time when the
political, business and financial gurus of our nation are proving, in the
most spectacular fashion, their inability to provide us with a
stable, sane and rational society, it is interesting to recall the time
when the workers of Limerick took control of the city and ran it so
effectively. Peoples' needs were put before profit and real democracy
flourished if only for a short while.
strike which precipitated the 'Soviet' was called in response to the
imposition of military rule by the British following the attempted rescue
at St. Camilus' Hospital and subsequent shooting of the IRA prisoner and
post office worker, Robert Byrne.
The funeral was attended by
tens of thousands of enraged mourners. In its aftermath, the British
forces attempted to prevent any movement in or out of the city and
military barricades were placed on Thomond and what is now named Sarsfield
Bridge. The city was under siege and food had to be smuggled across the
Shannon from County Clare. Hearses coming from the 'City Home' did not
always contain corpses! For two weeks Limerick became 'self ruled' like
Derry in the late sixties. The workers, through its organisations, ran
the city, printing its own money in the process. They sought support from
the national Labour and Republican Movements. As this did not
materialise, so an opportunity to change the course of Western European
history was lost!
For workers today the
Limerick Soviet of 1919 can be a cautionary tale and a rallying cry. Pass
on the word to all your friends, neighbours and fellow workers about this
website and give them the privilege and the right to be inspired by the
fighting spirit of the workers' movement in Limerick all those years ago.
A Strike Committee Proclamation
This and the following three images were
supplied by Mike McNamara, Limerick Council of Trade Unions
Funeral of Robert Byrne
T McDonnell, J Carr, J Coffey, M Ryan, M Bennis, D O'Reilly, M Gabbett.
Fourth row: F Whelan, M Daly, T Bourke, J Roberts, J McQuaine. Third row:
P O'Sullivan, W O'Brien, G Dunne, P Hehir, J Flynn, B Rea, L Kelliher, D
O'Loughlin, J Hogan, C Johnson, M Reddan, J O'Keeffe. Seated: D Griffin, R
P O'Connor, J Casey, J Cronin, A Walsh, J O'Connor, P Dowling. Front: J
Buckner, C Carey, M Browne, J Leahy.
Limerick Soviet Commemoration Committee
Some of the members
of the Committee are pictured below.
Display of Limerick Soviet material
Our thanks to all who supported
our efforts to ensure that the 90th anniversary of the Limerick Soviet was
commemorated with an appropriate programme of events. Among our
benefactors were ...
The Mandate Trade Union
Jan O'Sullivan TD
website is maintained and updated by the
Limerick Soviet Commemoration Committee 2009.