From Lucifer to Lazarus
In From Lucifer to Lazarus: A Life on the Left, Mick O’Reilly shares his experiences as a politician and trade unionist, with his unwavering thoughts and insights focused on controversial, complex issues.O’Reilly was a member at different times of both the Communist and Labour Party from the 1960s to the present day, navigating the shoals and eddies of the Irish Left with an informed relish. His experiences with the National Union of Vehicle Builders brought him to the leadership of the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers’ Union in 1992 – a position from which he was controversially dismissed in 2001; like Lazarus, he was fully reinstated in 2004 following a bitter battle across two jurisdictions in Dublin and Belfast.O’Reilly gives an insider’s view of the power struggles, strikes and negotiations in a career spanning almost five decades. From his working-class base in the Liberties and Ballyfermot, this young firebrand joined the Dublin Housing Action Committee and the Connolly Youth Movement, witnessing and actively participating in the key events that have formed modern Ireland.O’Reilly’s Labour Left sparked reform within the Labour Party, establishing that the leader must be elected by democratic mandate among its members. The principle of solidarity has guided Mick as worker, activist and union official all his life.Writing as he speaks, O’Reilly brings late twentieth-century Ireland to life and offers a pithy, acerbic commentary on the development of its trade union movement and the Irish Left, with illuminating pen portraits of friends and foes alike. This socio-political memoir is infused with passion and personal perspective, emphasizing the ultimate strength of collective action in the face of adversity.From Lucifer to Lazarus is an invaluable record of a fissured world transcended; its authenticity sets it apart as an honest, intimate read.
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