James Connolly


Recruiting the Irish Citizen Army


From Workers’ Republic, November 6, 1915.
Transcribed by The James Connolly Society in 1997.

A large section has been formed for drill, and every day the men are instructed in military exercises. We are thus rapidly becoming the best drilled body of men in Ireland. For a time it was difficult to get our men trained, as dock work keeps men employed always in the evenings, but the employers are kindly helping us to get over that difficulty. Company after company locks out its men, and then we bring them up to Liberty Hall and take advantage of the opportunity to drill and train them. When each dispute is settled that squad of men goes back to work, and some other squad gets locked out, and we get a chance to train them.

Thus the whole quay is getting drilled, and the Irish Citizen Army has a larger reserve of drilled fighting men than any force in Dublin. It is a great game! And all these men are ready to fight – in Ireland. Perhaps that is not what the employers are aiming at. Perhaps. But every musketry instructor can tell you that people often hit what they did not aim at. The great danger is that the dispute may be over before the men are thoroughly drilled. And when it is over the men will be back to work at the same rates of pay as their brothers have been conceded. And not a penny less.


Last updated on 15.8.2003