Citizens: Lockout 1913 – 2013

1913 Baton Charge - My Lockout Image Name: 1913 Baton Charge - My Lockout Description: Baton charge of the Dublin Metropolitan Police during the Dublin Lockout (1913)

A six part documentary series narrating the events that led to the landmark labour versus capital conflict in Dublin in 1913, exploring the leaders on both sides and questioning the legacy of Lockout 1913 for Ireland today.

Citizens: Lockout 1913-2013 brings to life a city where 100,000 people lived in one bedroom tenements and a conflict dominated by big personalities like union leader Jim Larkin and industrialist William Martin Murphy. But while Larkin’s statute dominates O’Connell Street today the lockout was a crushing defeat for the city’s workers and in 1914 it was Murphy not Larkin who was honoured. Historian Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD, says with the Lockout ‘we tend to read history backwards’ and see 1913 through the prism of 1916. This series starts at 1900 with the visit of Queen Victoria to Dublin and the emerging labour, nationalist and suffrage movements. Its key characters are not just Larkin and Martin Murphy, but socialist James Connolly and women activists in the Women’s Workers Union including Larkin’s sister Delia and Constance Markievicz.

‘This was one where it was workers on one side and employers on the other’ says Lockout historian Padraig Yeates. ‘If Larkin’s achievement was to unite workers for better conditions, Murphy’s achievement was to unite employers, both catholic and protestant. It was a battle of personalities’.  The series features leading historians on the period including Mary Daly, James Curry, Emmet O’Connor, Felix Larkin, Leeann Lane, Lauren Arrington as well as Diarmaid Ferriter and Padraig Yeates and includes contributions from the descendants of Connolly, Larkin, Martin Murphy and Markievicz as well as dramatic readings by actors Barry McGovern, Donna Dent, Stephen Murray and playwright Peter Sheridan. Contemporary leaders also share their views about the legacy of the Lockout including Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn, IBEC leader Danny McCoy, Irish Congress of Trade Unions leader David Begg, Former Fine Gael cabinet Minister Gemma Hussey, SIPTU Vice-President Patricia King and Senator Ivana Bacik.

Citizens: Lockout 1913-2013 is an Athena Media production for RTÉ Radio 1 made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Legacy. 1913-2013 

What is the legacy of the Lockout today and how has it shaped Irish society? We hear from contemporary leaders including Labour party Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, Senator Ivana Bacik, Former Fine Gael cabinet Minister Gemma Hussey and Martin Murphy’s present today in the person of Irish Business Employers Confederation (IBEC) Chief Executive Danny McCoy and General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions David Begg and SIPTU Vice-President Patricia King. We also hear from Managing Director of the Irish Times Liam Kavanagh who is currently president of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, one hundred years after William Martin Murphy was president independent equality consultant Niall Crowley and newspaper columnist Kevin Myers give their views on how the anniversary of the Lockout should be commemorated. “And on every occasion, I would rather have a world run by William Martin Murphy than James Larkin.” Kevin Myers.

Presenter and Producer Helen Shaw also looks at how An Post are commemorating the Lockout by speaking with designer Ger Garland on the collection of stamps produced to mark the anniversary.

RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday 14 September, 6.05pm