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Jim Larkin remanded in custody
An internal DMP communiqué related to a complaint made against police on Sackville Street during the labour demonstrations. The handwritten note in the margin reads: 'Under Secretary, This is the only case I know of in which a person has complained of ill-treatment on Sackville St on the 31st Sept last. The facts connected with that incident are likely to come out when Larkin is tried for inciting a riot on Sackvill Street.' To view the full document, see the Related Content below. Photo: National Archives of Ireland, CSO RP/18581

Jim Larkin remanded in custody

Evidence of Detective Sergeant Smyth

Published: 4 September 1913

Jim Larkin remains in prison tonight, having been remanded in custody as his trial continues at the Southern Police Court in Dublin. Mr. Larkin is charged with breach of the peace and with the use of seditious language on 29 August on Sackville Street.

Amongst the large crowd who attended today’s hearing was the visiting Scottish socialist and labour leader, Keir Hardie MP. The court heard testimony from witnesses who described Larkin’s appearance on a balcony of the Imperial Hotel on Sackville Street just before 1pm. Detective Sergeant Smyth told the court that when Larkin appeared on the balcony, about 300 people had surged towards the hotel and were cheering and waving their hats in the air. He stated that when police attempted to enter the hotel, the crowd started to shout wildly at them and stones, bricks and a bottle were thrown in their direction.

Larkin being led away from the Imperial Hotel after his arrest on Sackville Street, 31st August 1913. It was this event that sparked the now infamous riot and baton charge that has left the city reeling.
(Image: Bureau of Military History 1913-1921, Military Archives)

Detective Sergeant Smyth said that he then went to watch the back of the building before seeing Superintendents Kiernan and Murphy emerge from the hotel with Larkin in their custody. The crowd was booing the police as they proceeded down Sackville Street, he continued, before the police charged with their batons and dispersed the crowd. Mr. Larkin was then brought across O’Connell Bridge and away from the crowd.Cross-examined by Mr. Hanna, KC, who was defending Mr. Larkin, Detective Sergeant Smyth stated that Mr. Larkin had remained on the balcony for about one minute. Asked whether he saw a certain humour in Mr. Larkin’s choice of the balcony of the Imperial Hotel, which is owned by William Martin Murphy, as a place to be arrested, Detective Sergeant Smyth said: ‘It appeared like a huge joke.’

Support for the Dublin strikers has come from trade unions across the world. in this letter to Augustine Birrell, George Waite of the Industrial Workers of the World Club, Sydney, voices his support for the Dublin workers and decries 'the violent methods adopted by the Government to suppress meetings in connexion with the strike, in marked contrast to the attitude of the Government towards Sir Edward Carson and other high placed 'Loyal Rebels' in their recent demonstrations agst Home Rule.' Click on image for larger version.
(Image: National Archives of Ireland CSO RP/19242)

Other members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police gave evidence in the course of the day. As proceedings were adjourned, Mr. Hanna, KC, asked the judge to allow Mr. Larkin out on bail, saying that the evidence given against him as to sedition was of a very slight character. The Crown opposed the awarding of bail and Mr. Larkin was remanded in custody until next Monday when the trial will resume.


Century Ireland

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