The History of the James Connolly Image
Way back in 1968-9 I was doing a lot of graphic artwork for Mick Ryan and Cathal Goulding of the Workers Party. I did a series for them that included book covers for Seán Cronin and others and a poster of Irish patriot Kevin Barry (right), a young 18 year old Blackrock rugby player, who was captured, tortured and executed by the British in 1918 to massive public anger and outrage.
I was also producing a series of posters of Irish patriots and writers for different Dublin publishers and we got as far as Pearse (left) and Barry when all hell broke loose up in Northern Ireland and I immediately started producing a series of political posters and other works aimed at highlighting the brutality of the Crown Forces in the north (below).
James Connolly was obviously high among my list of heroes of the time and I already had a sketch of the projected work that also included Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. You can imagine the loud silence that greeted this idea of publishing posters of such radical thinkers and revolutionaries in the climate of political tension that existed at that time. Understandably, no one would touch them.
So it has taken a little while for this tribute to James Connolly to appear but better late than never. I produced it as one of a projected series of three ‘Irish Revolutionaries’ for sale on my website and once artist/activist Bobby Ballagh invited me to join him and the likes of James Connolly Heron (right, beside the reference photo of James Connolly), grandson of the great man himself, in ‘Reclaim 1916’, I gave them the rights to a smaller A3 print to raise funds for the movement.
Note: Bobby and myself have been friends a long time now and it turned out that myself and James Connolly Heron had been footballers together back in the day in Herbert Park and I had even done a logo for his rock band way back too.
Ireland can be a small place 🙂
For my original James Connolly Irish revolutionary Print: http://www.jimfitzpatrick.com/
My own limited edition version has no lettering. Size as Che poster, signed numbered and embossed by me personally, edition 95, price €295.
The ‘Reclaim 1916’ one is €125 for A2 size (half size A1 Che) and edition of 250, via Sandra at Mandate Trade Union 087 632 3178