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The Limerick Soviet

Alun Parry
Language: English


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Limerick Soviet, 1919


The Limerick Soviet (Irish: Sóivéid Luimnigh) was a self-declared soviet that existed from 15 to 27 April 1919 in County Limerick, Ireland. At the beginning of the Irish War of Independence, a general strike was organised by the Limerick Trades and Labour Council, as a protest against the British Army's declaration of a "Special Military Area" under the Defence of the Realm Act, which covered most of Limerick city and a part of the county. The soviet ran the city for the period, printed its own money and organised the supply of food. (en.wikipedia)
1919 was the year the trouble all went down
The Defence of the Realm Act was invoked by the Crown
They imposed martial law upon old Limerick town
And they made the local people foot the bill

The local trades and workers council met for 12 long hours
And said we will not recognise the British Army’s powers
This city is the people’s, we reclaim it now as ours
It ever was and shall be ever still

We are the Limerick Soviet
We answer only to the people’s plea
We care no more for their martial law
Than the British Army cares for you and me

The printing workers laboured through the darkness of the night
To urge the population to resist the army’s might
Within two hours the city walls proclaimed a General Strike
And Limerick responded to the call

Workers in their thousands were parading through the streets
The Irish Times was horrified and called for their defeat
But the people were in charge now not the Army or elite
They held the torch of freedom for us all

We are the Limerick Soviet
We answer only to the people’s plea
We care no more for their martial law
Than the British Army cares for you and me

The Soviet of Limerick it lasted two weeks long
A forgotten revolution overlooked by history’s song
John Cronin and his strike committee’s beacon has not gone
It lights the path to justice for us still

We are the Limerick Soviet
We answer only to the people’s plea
We care no more for their martial law
Than the British Army cares for you and me

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2016/1/12 - 13:57



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