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‘Coal Famine’ in Dublin
Detail of an image showing coal merchants along Dublin's D'Olier Street in the 1870s. Photo: National Library of Ireland, L_CAB_01233

‘Coal Famine’ in Dublin

Dublin, 25 July 1916 - The Dublin coal strike, which has now entered its second week, is in absolute deadlock.

The strike means that there is no coal coming into the city and most of the coal yards are now empty.

An attempt by the Lord Mayor to broker a resolution in the dispute has ended in failure and it is now possible that various factories across the city will have to cease operations for want of coal.

The differences between the men and their employers are on questions of hours and wages. The coal labourers have looked for an increase in their rate of pay for discharging coal vessels from 8d to 1s per ton. The coal merchants are simply refusing to pay.

Previous disputes have been settled through arbitration, but no resolution appears imminent on this occasion.  However, these resolutions have proven to be temporary with an undercurrent of industrial unrest bubbling beneath the surface of the city since before the 1913 Lockout.

There are fears that if a settlement is not reached soon, citizens of all classes may be without fuel for the winter ahead.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.