Newpaper Reports from the Lockout
Here are selection of extracts from newspaper reports during the 1913 Lockout.
Irish Times 29 September 1913
Distributing the food
While the cargo was being thus discharged the number of workers in waiting was constantly augmented. There were all sorts of poor people- men and women and children. There they stood quietly enough until a sufficient quantity of the food was in the store to allow the distribution to begin.
This was possible at a quarter to four. The agte of yard beside the store was then opened . For a time the crowd were so eager to enter that they blocked the entrance. But a long double queue was formed and the people were admitted one by one .In the yard they gave up their food tickets, or otherwise satisfied the trade union official grouped around the entrance to the magic storehouse.
Then they field into the building along the barriers within, and out through an exit at the other end. On the other side of the barriers stood workers of another class- drapers assistants who were devoting their half day to this task of distributing bread and potatoes and groceries. To each of the recipients was handed twenty pounds weight of food, a bog of potatoes a loaf a parcel of butter, sugar, tea, jam and fish and to some who had children biscuits also were given.
A Striking procession
Many were the degrees of poverty represented by this striking procession. Here were seen the wan dweller in some noisome tenement wrapped in a shawl and huddling a baby to her breast; the carters wife who had a bonnet as well as a shawl; a decently attired housewife with gloves and ribbons evidently ill at ease on such an errand; the single labourer who announced that he was coming for his ‘grub for’ the week the married Docker whose wife was waiting at home unable perhaps to walk so far; boys and girls of all sizes and ages, form children whose heads did not show above the barriers to striplings who must soon find work- all were reduced to a common level by dire necessity that knows no law. Little was said as the procession went through the store.
Each person had quite enough to do to grasp his loaf and box and bag. Most of the noise in the building came from the men who were still discharging the Hare and supplying the drapers’ assistants with the rations to keep the procession moving through the store. For hours the scene was much the same. The faces changed, but there was a sad aspect to it all.
Outside the spectator saw the long queue go in-orderly and patient- at one door, and also the stream of the supplied of the supplied emerging form a side street. He could not but be moved to pity. The poorest woman dislikes to carry a loaf uncovere4d to do so is to proclaim her poverty to the world. But here were respectably-attired women who thus humiliated before the curious crowd of onlookers; for many had not thought of bringing baskets to carry the provisions. Fortunately there was room at the top of the potato bag for some more.
When at a distance from the centre of distribution a number of the humblest recipients stopped to examine the contents of the grocery boxes. One tattered woman appeared to be dividing her tea with a friend who was not so lucky herself. Indeed, those of the poor who were about but, were unentitled to have a portion of the food must have been envious. Not far form the door of the shed sat a pallid woman and her daughter, utterly forlorn looking wonderingly upon the bustle around.
In addition to the supplies given to individuals at the store, large quantities of food were entrusted to delegates to convey to Kingstown, Clondalkin, Swords, and other outlying districts where members of the Transport and General Worker’s union are disemployed. These supplies were carted to their destination and then distributed.
At eight o’clock on Saturday night the hare’s cargo had all been landed. At nine o’clock the number of person who had been relieved must have been about 9,000. Mr Sodden and Mr Gosling have announced that further supplies of food will arrive from Manchester towards the end of this week, but these will not be conveyed in special ships. It is also announced that Messer’s Rowntree have given a quarter ton of cocoa And Messer’s Cadbury half a ton for the sues of the disemployed.
Irish Times 9 October 1913
Association for the relief of Distressed Protestants.
This association carries son amongst Protestants a work similar to that carried on amongst Catholic Charities by the St Vincent de Paul. Grants are made of money to assist all necessitous cases and during the winter months coal is distributed. The secretary informed out representative that there is a never ceasing demand for help form the poor of Dublin. No relief is give of any kind to a person who is on strike; the association leave that to the strikers’ trade union. Since the present labour unrest began however many claims have been received from people who have been disemployed through no fault of their own but simply because the strikes have been the means of diverting the work that these poor people performed to other channels. In every case of genuine distress the is making grants to help people to tide them over in the present crisis.
Freemans Journal 13 October 1913 (p. 10)
So serious are the reports of the destitution among the poorer sections of the inhabitants of Dublin, especially that portion which is outside trade union influences, that the Irish societies in London are moving to appoint a joint committee here for the purpose of organising a relief fund to work for the purpose organising a relief fund to work in co-operation with the Lord Mayor of Dublin in assisting those women and children who are entirely dependent on voluntary aid. The initiative in the matter has been taken by the Gaelic League of London, which has invited the other Irish Bodies to send representatives to a conference to be held this week. ….