Famous People

James Connolly
james connolly
Born of Irish immigrant parents in Edinburgh on 5 June 1868In 1910. He first came to Ireland as a British soldier. At the age of fourteen he falsified his age and enlisted in the British Army to escape poverty. Joining the Royal Scots Regiment, he was posted to Ireland and served tours of duty in Cork, Dublin, and later in the Curragh, Co. Kildare. Connolly had a deep hate of the British Army and deserted a number of years later. Connolly returned to Ireland as organiser of the new Socialist Party in Ireland. He was co-founder of the Labour Party in 1912. He was the Belfast organiser for the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. This Union led the wave of class struggles that affected both Dublin and Belfast. Connolly succeeded in uniting Catholic and Protestant workers against the employers. In October 1911 he led the famous Belfast Textile Workers’ strike. The wave of employee strikes was countered by the employers in the notorious Dublin Lock-out of 1913. On this occasion, Dublin employers, organised by William Martin Murphy, the chairman of the Employers’ Federation and owner of the Independent newspaper, set out to crush the workers and their organisations. The ITGWU replied by blacking Murphy’s newspapers, which led to the lock-out of the workers. Connolly became the workers’ leader following the arrest of James Larkin. He himself was arrested and went on hunger strike, but was released after a week. Larkin and Connolly appealed for help from abroad and in September the first food ship sailed into Dublin.

Connolly was instrumental in establishing of the Citizen Army whose purpose was to defend the workers against police attacks and to prepare for the struggle against British imperialism. In 1914 he became Acting General Secretary of Irish Transport and General Workers Union following Larkin’s departure to the USA. He revived The Workers’ Republic after the Irish Worker was suppressed in December 1914. He published articles attacking the Irish Volunteers for their inactivity. Connolly warned of a ‘carnival of reaction’ if conscription to the British army was introduced in Ireland. He formed an Anti-War Committee and he committed the Labour movement to oppose recruitment and conscription, flying the banner, ‘We serve neither King nor Kaiser, but Ireland’ at Liberty Hall. The Workers’ Republic was suppressed in 1915. When the secret military council of the IRB decided on an armed rising in 1916, Connolly took part in the preparations with Pearse and MacDonagh. Prior to 1916 he was opposed to nationalism on the grounds that it drove a wedge between the workers of the world. By 1916 he had become convinced that a nationalist revolution was the only way to free Ireland from what he saw as imperial and capitalist oppression. On Easter Monday he led his Citizen Army alongside the Volunteers under Pearse. The Easter Proclamation of Independence bears marks of Connolly’s influence: the egalitarianism of the opening address: ‘Irishmen and Irishwomen … ’; and the striking ‘We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies’. Connolly served as a Commandant in the General Post Office during the Easter fighting and was badly wounded. He was sentenced to death by the Military Tribunal for his role in the Rising and was executed by a firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol at dawn on 12 May 1916. His wounds were so severe that he had to be strapped to a chair for his execution. He was first buried at the Kilmainham Gaol. His final resting place is at Arbour Hill cemetery, Dublin.

William Connolly
william connolly
Among well-known Connollys were William Connolly, the richest man in Ireland in the 18th century. A lawyer and financier, he made his fortune buying and selling land lost by the old Gaelic families exiled after the Battle of the Boyne. He was also Speaker in the Irish Parliament. In 1722, he built Castletown House at Celbridge, Co Kildare, one of Ireland’s finest mansions. Restoration is nearly complete and it can be visited.

Roddy Connolly
roddy
The son of Irish socialist James Connolly and Lillie Connolly, he was involved in the Easter Rising in 1916, where he served in the GPO under his father. He joined the Socialist Party of Ireland in 1917.Connolly traveled to Russia on several occasions in 1920–21 and formed a close association with Vladimir Lenin and was hugely influenced by the Soviet leader. He was a delegate to the Second Congress of the Communist International. He helped form and became President of the first Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) in October 1921. He was editor of CPI newspaper, The Workers’ Republic. He opposed the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the British state and fought in the Civil War on the side of the republican forces. The CPI was the first Irish political party to oppose the Treaty and urged the IRA to adopt socialist policies to defeat the new Free State government. The CPI was dissolved in 1924 by the Comintern but in 1926, Connolly helped set up a second Marxist party, the Workers Party of Ireland. Connolly was the party leader and editor of its journal, The Hammer and Plough. This party too was dissolved in 1927. Connolly joined the Irish Labour Party in 1928 and in 1934 participated in the last socialist initiative of Inter-War Ireland, the Irish Republican Congress. He was imprisoned twice in 1935. At the 1943 general election, Connolly was elected to the Dáil as a Labour Party Teachta Dála (TD) for Louth. He lost his seat at the 1944 general election, but was re-elected at the 1948 general election, before losing once more at the 1951 general election.[2] Connolly was also financial secretary of the party from 1941–49. Connolly entered something of a semi-retirement between the mid-1950s to mid-1960s, but in the late 1960s, he began a comeback. He was elected as party chairman in 1971 and held this position until 1978. Connolly also sat in the Irish Senate from 1975–77 on the Cultural and Educational Panel. He was a strong supporter of the Labour Party–Fine Gael coalition government that was in power from 1973–77. Connolly died in St Michael’s hospital, Dún Laoghaire, in December 1980. He had both pneumonia and stomach cancer. Connolly is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.

Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly
William “Billy” Connolly, Jr., CBE (born 24 November 1942) is a Scottish comedian, Connolly’s grandfather was an Irish immigrant, Billy himself became a musician, presenter and actor. He is sometimes known, especially in his native Scotland, by the nickname ‘The Big Yin’ (‘The Big One’). His first trade, in the early 1960s, was as a welder (specifically a boilermaker) in the Glasgow shipyards, but he gave it up towards the end of the decade to pursue a career as a folk singer in the Humblebums and subsequently as a soloist. In the early 1970s, he made the transition from folk-singer with a comedic persona to full-fledged comedian. Connolly is also an actor, and has appeared in such films as Indecent Proposal (1993); Muppet Treasure Island (1996); Mrs. Brown (1997), for which he was nominated for a BAFTA; The Boondock Saints (1999); The Man Who Sued God (2001); Water (1985); The Last Samurai (2003); Timeline (2003); Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004); Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006); Open Season (2006); The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008); and Open Season 2 (2008). Connolly reprised his role as Noah “Il Duce” MacManus in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. Connolly appears as the King of Lilliput in the 2010 remake of Gulliver′s Travels. Connolly provides the voice for King Fergus in Pixar’s Brave (2012).

Joe Connolly
joe connolly
Born 13 October 1956 in Castlegar, County Galway, is an Irish retired sportsperson. He played hurling with his local club Castlegar and was a member of the Galway senior inter-county team from 1976 until 1984. Connolly captained Galway to the All Ireland title in 1980. In 1980 Connolly was appointed capatin of the team as Galway defeated Kildare and Offaly to reach a second All-Ireland final. Munster champions Limerick provided the opposition on this occasion and an exciting championship decider followed. Bernie Forde and P.J. Molloy goals for Galway meant that the men from the west led by 2-7 to 1-5 at half-time. Éamonn Cregan single-handedly launched the Limerick counter-attack in the second-half. Over the course of the game he scored 2-7, including an overhead goal and a point in which he showed the ball to Conor Hayes and nonchalantly drove the ball over the bar. It was not enough to stem the tide and Galway went on to win the game.[8] It was the county’s first All-Ireland title since 1923 and the celebrations surpassed anything ever seen in Croke Park. It took Connolly ten minutes to reach the rostrum in the Hogan Stand to collect the Liam McCarthy Cup, however, once there he delivered one of the most famous acceptance speeches of all-time. Delivered through his native Irish, Connolly was clearly overcome with emotion. The following is an excert in English of that famous speech – “People of Galway, after fifty-seven years the All-Ireland title is back in Galway…It’s wonderful to be from Galway on a day like today. There are people back in Galway with wonder in their hearts, but also we must remember (Galway) people in England, in America, and round the world and maybe they are crying at this moment…People of Galway, we love you!” The final phrase is an echo of Pope John Paul II’s address to the young people of Ireland the previous year. The celebrations didn’t just end with Connolly’s speech as Joe McDonagh seized the microphone and lead the crown in a version of the West’s Awake. Connolly rounded of the year by collecting a coveted All-Star award, as well as being named as the Texaco Hurler of the Year.

John Connolly
John Connolly
Connolly graduated with a B.A. in English from Trinity College, Dublin, and a M.A. in Journalism from Dublin City University. Before becoming a full-time novelist, Connolly worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a gofer at Harrods department store in London. After five years as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, Connolly became frustrated with the profession, and began to write his first novel, Every Dead Thing, in his spare time. (Connolly continues to contribute articles to the paper, most notable of which have been a series of interviews with other established authors.) Every Dead Thing introduced readers to the anti-hero Charlie Parker, a former police officer hunting the killer of his wife and daughter. The book was met with critical acclaim; it was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and went on to win the 2000 Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel. (Connolly is the first author outside of the US to have won the award. Connolly has since written further books in the popular Parker series and a non-Parker thriller, as well as venturing outside of the crime genre with the publication of first, an anthology of ghost stories and later, a novel about a young boy’s coming-of-age journey through a fantasy realm during World War II England. Several film adaptations of his works are currently in development; the earliest to appear to audiences was partially based on the short story “The New Daughter”, and starred Kevin Costner and Ivana Baquero.

David Connolly
david connolly
David James Connolly (born 6 June 1977) is a professional footballer who last played as a striker for Southampton. He has previously played for the Republic of Ireland and for various clubs including Feyenoord and Excelsior in the Netherlands as well as Wigan Athletic and Sunderland in the Premier League. Connolly has represented the Republic of Ireland at international level. He was a member of Ireland’s 2002 FIFA World Cup squad that lost to Spain in the knockout stage where his penalty kick was saved by Iker Casillas during the shootout.