Jim Connell


In 1889 Jim Connell wrote The Red Flag, which became the anthem of the international Labour movement. He was born near Kilskyre, County Meath, and in his teens moved with his family to Birr, County Offaly, where his family worked as a groom for the Earl of Rosse. He became involved with land agitation and was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood, moving to Dublin in 1869; failing to unionize the docks, he went to London in 1875. There he worked as a navvy, railwayman and poacher, and was a popular figure in Fleet Street and a friend of Keir Hardie, with whom he produced the Socialist Journal. From his journalism grew his books, the most popular of them, Confessions of a Poacher (1901).