LIMERICK SOVIET, 1919.

IN LIMERICK, THE WORKERS AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES TAKE OVER RUNNING THE CITY, AND THEIR ACTION IS DECLARED A ‘SOVIET’. THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES SEE IT AS A SERIOUS THREAT TO THEIR RULE IN IRELAND. THE WORKERS ARE PROTESTING AGAINST A SEVERE MILITARY LAW THAT REQUIRES THEM TO GET SPECIAL PASSES AND BE CHECKED TO GO TO AND FROM WORK. THE RESTRICTIONS FOLLOW THE IRA SHOOTING OF A POLICEMAN AND THE WOUNDING OF ANOTHER DURING THE RESCUE OF AN ILL REPUBLICAN PRISONER FROM A LOCAL HOSPITAL. HE, TOO, IS WOUNDED AND DIES.
THE WORKERS CONTROL EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE – PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD, OPENING AND CLOSING SHOPS, PRICES AND TRANSPORT. THEY PUBLISH THEIR NEWSPAPER AND – UNIQUELY – ISSUE THEIR CURRENCY. NEWSPAPERS AND NEWSREELS ACROSS THE WORLD REPORT ON THE EVENTS.
THEIR INITIAL SUCCESS IS BUILT ON A LOCAL ALLIANCE OF SOCIALIST, REPUBLICAN AND TRADE UNION FORCES, WITH THE TACIT SUPPORT OF THE CATHOLIC CLERGY. HOWEVER, WHEN THE WORKERS SEEK A GENERAL STRIKE, THE NATIONAL LEADERSHIP OF THESE DISPARATE GROUPS ARE OPPOSED AND ABANDONS THEM. THE OUTCOME LOCALLY IS AN HONOURABLE DRAW, AND THE MILITANT SPIRIT OF LIMERICK’S WOMEN AND MEN INSPIRED MORE THAN A HUNDRED OTHER SOVIETS ACROSS IRELAND IN THE REVOLUTIONARY YEARS 1919 TO 1923.

AVAILABLE NOW FROM AMAZON IN PAPERBACK AND KINDLE. ‘FORGOTTEN REVOLUTION [THE CENTENARY EDITION] THE LIMERICK SOVIET 1919’ BY LIAM CAHILL. A DEFINING ACCOUNT OF THE WORKER’S ROLE IN THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE FROM 1916 TO 1921, INCLUDING THE STIRRING EVENTS OF THE LIMERICK SOVIET 1919.

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