AN uncredited short story could solve the mystery of a lost play by Scots-born Easter Rising rebel James Connolly, it is claimed.

Born in Edinburgh, the revolutionary socialist, trade union leader and political theorist was executed for his leadership role in the 1916 push for Irish independence.

Academics have long sought a “missing” play alluded to in his daughter’s memoirs.

Now experts believe an anonymously published short story found in a journal at Warwick University’s archive could be that play.

Centred around a dockworkers’ strike, The Agitator’s Wife tells the story of a woman who steps in when her strike leader husband is driven to exhaustion and considers suicide.

Contained within the 1894 issue of The Labour Prophet, an obscure and short-lived Christian Socialist journal, it was unearthed last year during the 150th anniversary of Connolly’s birth.

Writing in the Irish Studies Review about their discovery, Glasgow University academics Professor Willy Maley, Dr Maria-Daniella Dick and Kirsty Lusk said: “We believe we may have unearthed, if not the play itself, then at least a version of the missing play.”

Maley added: “We hope this discovery will contribute to the discussions around the writings of James Connolly and his political impact and historical significance.

“However what is obvious now from the short story is the fact it lends itself easily to being adapted to the stage.

“We hope that this is something we can work on in partnership with a theatre company in order to bring it to a wider audience.”