Striking postal workers clash with Gardaí while picketing a CIÉ depot in Sheriff St, Dublin.

Irish postal workers went on strike for 18 weeks in 1979, which was Ireland’s worst ever year for strikes.  The postal workers’ pay was very low at the time and their union put in a claim for a rise of over 30%. The strikers stopped delivery of post and payment of social welfare.

Things got particularly heated in May at a picket on the CIÉ Fast Track depot in Sheriff Street, Dublin. The postal strikers were convinced that CIÉ staff were handling mail concealed in parcels and tried to stop cars passing the picket line. Garda reinforcements were drafted in to keep order and by 11 May, over 30 protesters had been charged with offences.

Forbes McFall reports for ‘Frontline’ on the Sheriff St picket on 11 May 1979. One protester is knocked unconscious in a scuffle with Gardaí.

The strike was eventually settled for a modest pay increase, much less than originally sought.