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The Limerick Soviet
A workers' rebellion in the Treaty city


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Just out!  The 5th edition of the Story of the Limerick Soviet. Click on the front cover below.

Limerick remembers its Soviet

You are welcome to our website.  Here you will find information on a workers' event that put Limerick in world headlines almost one hundred years ago. You will also see reports on commemorations of the Limerick Soviet and notices of future commerations, meetings or workshops on this famous general, city wide, strike.

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.

The strike which precipitated the 'Soviet' was called in response to the imposition of military rule by the British following the attempted rescue at St. Camillus' 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 pictured at
Limerick Museum



This and the following three images were supplied by
Mike McNamara, Limerick Council of Trade Unions


Funeral of Robert Byrne
 


 


Back row: 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, Harold Brown, J Leahy.


About the Soviet

For a short video history of the Limerick Soviet
Click Here


Read The Story of the Limerick Soviet
by D.R. O'Connor Lysaght  Click Here


 Read Liam Cahill's account of the Soviet  Click Here


Links

Limerick Council of Trade Unions
Mike McNamara 087 412 9789
http://www.limerickctu.com/

E-mail


Limerick International Brigades Memorial Trust


https://www.facebook.com/ger.mccloskey.5


The Bottom Dog
https://www.facebook.com/thebottomdog


Limerick City Museum

Irish Labour History Society

Barnet Trades Union Council

Brent Trades Union Council

 


Image from Limerick Museum website


This website is maintained and updated by Joe Harrington
Tel 087 285 3570.    ramblinghouse@eircom.net