Over the weekend of the 25th and 26th of May the first Connolly Festival in Co. Monaghan took place, the birthplace of the parents of James Connolly, John Connolly and Mary McGinn from Áth an Lobhair in the impoverished townland of Coillidh Chuanach, who left Co. Monaghan and settled in the Cowgate district of Edinburgh.
The festival, a mixture of politics and culture, was a first for the group of activists of the CPI and the Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum in the area, bringing together republicans, communists, socialists and local left and community activists. Many of those who attended had spent the previous weeks knocking on doors in Cos. Monaghan and Cavan, calling for a Yes vote to repeal the 8th Amendment.
The final event of the festival was the launch of the new edition of the seminal work by C. Desmond Greaves, The Life and Times of James Connolly. The participants then gathered and walked to the Diamond in Clones, where they held a rally of solidarity with the Palestinian people.