October 2013        

A day in the life of a bookshop

If, like me, you love all things political and cultural, then Connolly Books was the place to be last Saturday [28 September]. When I arrived at the bookshop the sound of Irish was flowing through the air. People were chatting and sipping tea and discussing the latest concerns of everyday life.
     I perused the latest book that was being launched that afternoon by republican women who were involved in the war in the Six Counties, women who, like their comrades before them in that failed revolution of 1916, have been deliberately written out of history. I have often thought of these women who took the British on and other women who offered moral support to republican prisoners and stood outside Port Laoise and Crumlin Road prisons on dark days and nights, not to mention those who made endless journeys to England, to places like Long Lartin, Brixton, Belmarsh, only to find that the jailers had moved their loved ones elsewhere.
     It is the women that we menfolk owe a lot to. I listened to what was said, and hopefully the launch of In the Footstep of Anne: Stories of Republican Women Ex-Prisoners, will help in a small way to remember these brave women.
     Upstairs in Connolly House they were celebrating a special club that has come together here each week for the past twenty years to create an atmosphere in which people can feel at ease speaking in Irish.
     The subject of the launch by the Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum was their first publication, Undoing the Conquest: Renewing the Struggle, which was developed over a series of seminars convened by the CPI in early 2012. These seminars were attended by many people who were keen to discuss a coherent strategy that could direct socialist republicans in the pressing struggle against imperialist forces.
     The audience was addressed by Tommy McKearney, Eugene McCartan, and Bernadette McAliskey, each of whom was well worth listening to and learning from. The publication discussed would certainly serve as a wonderful present for family, friends or even political opponents in order to educate them on the basics of what they need to know about class, state, and imperialism.
     I urge you to buy it.

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