School of History, Classics & Archaeology


President of Ireland addresses event hosted by the School

The President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, addressed an event hosted by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh to consider the life and legacy of Scottish-born revolutionary leader, writer and socialist, James Connolly (1868-1916). (Published 30 June 2016)

President Higgins addresses the event
President Higgins addresses the event
Photo showing President Higgins looking at a book presented to him by Professor Jackson.
Professor Jackson presents President Higgins with a copy of his book (courtesy of Chris Bellew/ Fennell Photography Limited)

Scholars from Dublin, Galway, Aberdeen, Dundee, York as well as Edinburgh debated both Connolly’s life as a committed socialist and revolutionary leader, and his legacy. Idealised by many in Ireland, he is little known in his native country.

Professor Enda Delaney, Professor of Modern History and one of the event organisers, remarked on the symbolic significance of President Higgins honouring Connolly in his birthplace:

"James Connolly was one of the most important socialist thinkers the world has ever seen. Having an opportunity to discuss his legacy with President Higgins just a short distance from where he was born was an invigorating experience for us."

Alvin Jackson, Sir Richard Lodge Professor of History in the School, presented President Higgins with an inscribed copy of his book, The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History (2014).

Edinburgh University has a world-class reputation in Irish history, and is widely considered to be one of the top global universities in this field. In 2016 it was among a few international universities to be awarded prestigious funding by the Irish Government to organise a series of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary  of the Easter Rising of 1916.

This event was jointly organised with the Centre for the Histories of Class and Labour at the National University of Ireland, Galway, President Higgins’ alma mater.


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