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1913 Irish Strike

  • Date Submitted: 11/04/2010 09:03 AM
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1913 Strike Jim Larkin 
Throughout the United Kingdom, the divisions between the labour movement and employers had deepened greatly in the early years of the twentieth century. Strikes had occurred frequently in many places, but it seemed that industrial relations were becoming more settled in the beginning of the second decade of the century. For the most part, Dublin had escaped labour unrest. In 1900 the Dublin Chamber of Commerce confidently declared: ‘We are pleased to note the growing disposition of all classes to unite in promoting the best interests of our country’. This harmony did not last and in 1913, the Labour movement in Dublin became involved in a serious conflict with the employers, known as the Lockout.
1. Chronology of the Strike and Lockout
26 August 1913. The strike began. Tram workers deserted their vehicles in protest when William Martin Murphy forbade employees of his Tramways Company to be members of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.
28 August. Larkin and other labour leaders were arrested on the following charges: seditious speaking and seditious intent to break the public peace, and to spread hatred towards the Government. They were released later that day.
29 August. Official proclamation issued prohibiting the proposed meeting in Sackville St (now O’Connell St) on 31 August. Great meeting in Beresford Place. Before 10,000 people, Larkin burned the Government proclamation prohibiting the gathering.
30 August. Police issued a warrant for Larkin’s arrest for using seditious language inciting people to riot and to pillage shops. Riots in Ringsend, Beresford Place, and Eden Quay, during which the police baton-charged the crowds and injured many protestors. James Nolan, caught in the riots, died from injuries received from police.
31 August. Although warned by the police not to attend the planned mass meeting, Larkin appeared in the window of the Imperial Hotel, in disguise, to address the huge crowd assembled. He was...

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