Albany Rebels Commemorate Easter Rising Anniversary with Name Change
The Albany Rebels have re-named themselves the James Connolly Albany Rebels ahead of the 2016 season to commemorate one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, a rebellion in Ireland meant to free the country from England.
The Rebels chose Connolly because of his Irish heritage and his connection to the Capital Region. He lived in Troy, N.Y., for two years at the turn of the 20th century. A statue of his bust stands in Troy’s Riverfront Park today.
A workers rights advocate, Connolly returned to Ireland in 1910, becoming head of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union and founder of the Irish Citizen Army.
On Easter Monday, April 14, 1916, he helped lead the Easter Rising as Commander of the Dublin Garrison. He was gravely wounded during the battle and then executed by English soldiers. Connolly was 47 years old.
Though the rebellion was unsuccessful, it changed the course of Irish history.