Limerick Soviet is now on Facebook and Twitter

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Limerick Soviet is now on Facebook and Twitter

Postby LiamCahill on Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:42 pm

This week sees the 94th anniversary of an important event in Labour and Limerick history – the Limerick General Strike, or Soviet, of April – May 1919.

The Limerick workers took over and ran the city for almost three weeks, controlling opening hours of shops, regulating food supply and prices, publishing their own newspaper and, indeed, printing their own currency.

The strike began on April 14th 1919 as a protest against British military restrictions on freedom of movement within the city. The previous week had seen a massive military-style funeral for a man named Robert Byrne. He was a leading trade unionist and adjutant of Limerick IRA. He had spent weeks on hunger strike in prison looking for political status and he was fatally wounded during a botched IRA rescue attempt from a local hospital.

The soviet is important because it represents the apogee of Labour influence on the developing struggle for independence. It was defeated because of cowardice on the part of the national union leadership, antagonism by Sinn Féin nationally and the local opposition of the Catholic church. After Limerick, Labour and the unions became bit players in the struggle.

A new Twitter account is providing day-by-day updates on the soviet as it happened. The page to follow on Twitter is or @LimerickSoviet. There is a corresponding page on Facebook

Social media is a great way to spread knowledge and information, especially to people in younger age groups. Teachers in history classes and students doing Leaving Cert projects will find these pages to be a great resource. There is also a free online copy of a book on the soviet available at
Full Name: Liam Cahill
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