Spartacus Review

Volume 53: 28th April, 2011

Irish History

Title: Sean McLoughlin: Ireland's Forgotten Revolutionary

Author: Charlie McGuire


Publisher: Merlin Press

Price: £15.95

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Ireland


Sean McLoughlin was only 21 when he became Commandant-General of the army of the Irish Republic in the 1916 Easter Rebellion. Most of its leaders were executed by the British Army, but he survived, perhaps because he was so young. McLoughlin looked towards a social as well as a political revolution. He wished the labour movement to lead the struggle for Irish independence, he became an active trade union leader and joined the Communist Party. But in reactionary times there was little support for one who in his life combined the vision of a social and national revolution. His family was harassed and he was forced to emigrate. Comrades on the left in Ireland and in the Britain neglected him and he slipped into poverty. This biography rescues from obscurity those in the Irish revolutionary movement, who, like him, not only envisaged, but fought for, an Ireland very different to the impoverished capitalist neo-colony that would come into being after 1922. It provides new and critical insights on the history of the republican and labour movements, on the communist left in Ireland and Britain and on the role of James Larkin.