Sunday Video: Happy Easter to all SIPTU members working on the frontline
Every year on Easter Sunday, we commemorate of the men and women of 1916, who gave their lives for the cause of Irish Freedom. This year is very different, we have to stay at home to protect those we love and vulnerable people in our communities.
While we can’t remember as a collective, it is important that we, as a nation and as workers, honour this moment that a small group of people had the courage and vision to strike a blow against Empire for a free republic. It is also important that we recognise the central role played in the Rising, by our union, and the labour and trade union movement, which had taken on new momentum in the early 20th century.
It was the Lockout that brought Pearse closer to Connolly. It is reflected in their joint influence on the Proclamation; printed here in Liberty Hall, and the execution of both men explains much of the diminished emphasis on equality in the decades that followed. It was our union’s founder James Connolly’s vision for a different Ireland – a better Ireland – that turned the movement for workers’ rights into an essential element of the broader movement for Irish independence.
Frontline health and essential workers battling the coronavirus are like the men and women of the Irish Citizens Army serving Ireland, and like the women and men of 1916 their courage, perseverance and strength is what inspires us.
Together, we will beat this. Happy Easter to all.