Irish Citizen Army Group Liberty Hall Dublin 1914.jpg

The Irish Citizen Army was a socialist paramilitary force made up of trade union volunteers founded in 1913 by James Larkin and James Connolly, initially established to provide protection for striking workers in Dublin from the police. Its constitution affirmed the absolute right of the Irish people to the moral and material ownership of the island of Ireland, referencing the writings of the Young Irelander James Fintan Lalor. Under the increasing influence of Connolly, the ICA became committed to physical force Irish republicanism and 220 ICA volunteers, including Connolly, would famously participate in the Easter Rising of 1916, alongside 200 members of the all-woman’s paramilitary Cumann na mBan and 1,000 members of the Irish Volunteers. Following the Rising’s defeat and Connolly’s execution, the ICA dwindled in support, playing a minimal role in the War of Independence before effectively disbanding by 1934, following a split in the socialist Republican Congress.

Writings

Constitution of the Irish Citizen Army (1914)