Recalling Jim Larkin

On 26 August 1913 members of the Jim Larkin lead Irish Transport & General Workers Union withdrew their labour and the trams stopped running in Dublin. The workers were protesting against a demand from their employer, to sign a pledge to leave the union. They faced the choice of giving up union membership or being sacked.This marked the beginning of the 1913 Dublin Lockout which would ultimately involve 20,000 workers and 300 employers.

Here John Swift a member of the Irish Bakers, Confectioners & Allied Workers Union recalls the kind of man and motivator that Jim Larkin was, "We were captivated by Larkin...he had a most compelling presence...and of course he was a great orator"

This interview was filmed for 'Awaiting the Revolution 75 Years of the ITGWU' which was first broadcast 29 November 1984.

RTÉ Radio 1 is remembering the Lockout this week with a selection of short pieces giving a flavour of the time, the tenements, the characters involved in the dispute and how it affected the workers and their families. The Lockout series of audio pieces will be broadcast throughout the day.

Also on radio the series Citizens: Lockout 1913-2013 continues.

Century Ireland has plenty more about the events that marked the beginning of the Dublin Lockout 100 years ago.


'Big' Jim Larkin, addresses a crowd on Dublin's O'Connell Street, shortly after his return from America in 1923.
Cashman Collection © RTÉ Archives 0511/017

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