Limerick Soviet

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The Limerick Soviet ( Sóivéid Luimnigh) was a self-declared soviet that existed from 15 to 27 April 1919. 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 of most of Limerick city and a part of the county.


From January 1919 the Irish War for Independence developed as a guerrilla conflict between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) (backed by Sinn Féin), and the British government. On 6 April 1919 the IRA tried to liberate Robert Byrne, who was under arrest by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) police in a hospital, being treated for the effects of a hunger strike. In the rescue attempt Constable Martin O'Brien was fatally wounded and another policeman was seriously injured. Byrne was also wounded and died later on the same day. In response, on 9 April British army Brigadier Griffin declared the city to be a Special Military Area, with RIC permits required for all wanting to enter and leave the city as of Monday 14 April.Lysaght, D.R. O'Connor. The Story of the Limerick Soviet. Limerick Soviet Commemoration Committee. 3rd edition, 2003

On Sunday 13 April the general strike was called by the city's United Trades and Labour Council, to which Byrne had been a delegate. Running the strike was devolved to a committee that described...
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