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Dublin death rate increased during 1913 Lockout
La Misère à Dublin: two young boys taking shelter in a doorway in the city during the Lockout. Published in Paris - Le Miroir, 18 Rue D'Enghien, 23 November 1913. Photo: National Library of Ireland, PD HP (1913) 1

Dublin death rate increased during 1913 Lockout

Dublin, 6 October 1915 - Sir Charles Cameron, of the Public Health Department of Dublin Corporation, has said that the death rate in the city increased during the 1913 Lockout.

In his annual report on the health of the city of Dublin, Sir Charles said that he thought it probable that the prolonged strike through the second half of 1913 and the early months of 1914 influenced the high rate of sickness and mortality.

He claimed: ‘It led to many cases of privation and probably told most severely on the children. The death-rate in the end of 1914 was unusually high, and the impact of the Lockout was compounded by the effects of severe weather conditions.' These conditions he stated, 'must have adversely affected the very poor, many of this class having draughty rooms, insufficient clothing and bedding, and sometimes no fuel’.

The appalling condition of Dublin tenements was exposed by a 1913 report published in the wake of the tenement collapse on Church Street. This images show (clockwise from top left): Angle Court, Chancery Street, Cook Street and Temple Lane. (Images: South Dublin County Libraries)

There were 1,467 deaths from TB in Dublin during 1914. Sir Charles believes that the establishment of sanatoria and tubercular hospitals has improved matters in this regard, but that it is disappointing that the improvement has not been far greater.

He also referred to the fact that there were improvements in housing during 1914 but that more needed to be done: ‘It is desirable that the very poor should be removed from their dilapidated houses and narrow courts and placed, as regards residence, under proper hygienic conditions.’

[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.