Jack O’Connor, Jackie McDonald, Carál Ní Chuilín, and John Gray will speak at a unique event hosted in Belfast City Hall on Friday 28th October to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of James Connolly in Belfast to organise dockers and mill workers. The evening will begin at 6.30pm with Belfast Mayor Niall Ó Donnghaile unveiling a portrait of Connolly painted by Belfast Artist Frank Quigley. The guest panel will follow with their discussion at 7pm.
The historic trade unionist came to Belfast in 1911 following James Larkin’s departure to Dublin. This special event will hear from cross community leaders who are members of the trade union SIPTU articulate the view that now more than ever working people need to be united.
The theme of the event will be ‘The Task Today’ and will focus largely on the modern needs of workers and the people who rely on public services.
John Gray from the Ulster Peoples College will provide the historic context of the City in 1911 and the work undertaken by James Connolly and the hundreds of trade union activists in Belfast to organise workers in the docks and mills.
Jackie McDonald will speak as a SIPTU activist about the needs of today’s poor and disadvantaged and the requirement to work together to lift communities out of multi-generational poverty.
Carál Ní Chuilín MLA who is also a member of SIPTU will focus upon how the trade union movement is able to bridge the cross community divide, to build a stronger and more powerful voice for the disadvantaged in our shared society.
Jack O’Connor General President of SIPTU will provide the union’s analysis of what is planned for workers and the people who rely on public services by the elite in society, and how we must all work together to undermine this neo liberal attack.
Speaking on the event SIPTU organiser Martin O’Rourke said,
“Connolly’s contribution in empowering working people in Belfast was immense; his campaigning played a key role in enhancing working conditions and the lives of the most deprived in society. Connolly was passionate about uniting working people, and breaking down sectarian barriers, his time in Belfast was characterised by his drive to unite communities. SIPTU believe that James Connolly’s actions and thoughts are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago, and we hope by marking this great man of Labour, and exploring his contribution in Belfast, we can further understand the task today for us in the trade union movement.”
Due to limited spaces you must RSVP your attendance by calling SIPTU on 028 90314000