RMT general secretary Mick Lynch has revealed his political hero in an interview on Peston.
Asked who his own political inspiration was, he replied by saying “James Connolly.”
“Who’s your political hero?”
“James Connolly … he was an Irish, socialist, Republican”
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He continued: “He was an Irish, socialist, republican. He educated himself and started non-sectarian trade-unionism in Ireland and he was a hero of the Irish revolution.”
Connolly was born in 1868 and helped to found the Irish Socialist Republican Party before moving to New York City where he lived from 1903 to 1910.
He eventually returned to Ireland and at Clonmel, County Tipperary in 1912, he and James Larking founded the Irish Labour Party.
Connolly was Larkin’s chief assistant in organising the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU).
He eventually returned Ireland and he became commander of an irregular citizen army which was set up as a workers’ defence force in November 1913.
Following the outbreak of the First World War, he replaced Larkin, who was in the United States, as the head of the ITGWU.
He would then go onto become a leading participant in the Easter Rising in April 1916 before his death in May of the same year.
Lynch himself has connections to Ireland as, although he was brought up on a council estate in Paddington, he is the son of Irish Catholic parents.
The RMT chief is set to make another media appearance this evening on Question Time.