Tuesday, August 27, 2013

James Connolly Monument


James Connolly Monument, 2008
Tom White
Union Park
East of North Ashland Avenue and north of West Warren Boulevard

            Located near Union Row, a series of old labor and trade union headquarters in Chicago, this life-sized bronze figure depicts James Connolly (1868-1916), Irish labor organizer and active participant in Ireland’s struggle for independence. Commissioned by Frank O’Lone, President of the Irish-American Labor Council of Chicago, the statue was completed by self-taught Texas artist Tom White and unveiled on October 23, 2008.
            Connolly, born in Scotland to Irish parents, helped found the Socialist Labor Party in Great Britain and, following his emigration to the United States in 1903, played a role in the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World (the “Wobblies”). He returned to Ireland in 1910 and helped organize the Irish Citizens Army, a group formed to protect workers and strikers. He was a leader in the movement for Irish independence and was executed in 1916 by the British government for his role in the Easter Uprising of that same year. 

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