SIPTU President Jack O’Connor at Jim Larkin statue Photo: © Michael Fisher (NUJ)
Thousands of people gathered in Dublin’s O’Connell Street yesterday (Saturday 31st August) to commemorate the 1913 Lockout in which an estimated 20,000 workers had been involved. President Higgins laid a wreath at the Jim Larkin statue after a salute by the Army No 1 band. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore attended along with Ministers Ruairi Quinn, Pat Rabbite, Jimmy Deenihan and Minister of State Joe Costello. Trade unionists were led by ICTU General Secretary David Begg and included SIPTU President Jack O’Connor (the successor of the ITGWU, founded by Larkin).
In traditional costumes and dress people recreated scenes from the 100-year old events, chanting “Down with Murphy, up with Larkin” while DMP police stood by. Readings from the novel Strumpet City were performed by by Bryan Murray and Angela Harding and an excerpt from the play “Lockout 1913”, set on top of a tram placed in front of the GPO.
The Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn welcomed everyone to the event saying it was about paying tribute to “thousand of working men and women who took part in this campaign to achieve decent treatment and fairness of work”. Hundreds of people dressed in period costumes as dockers, some as Jacobs workers and others as the poor of Dublin. This part of the event was organised by the North Inner City Heritage Group with Dublin Council of Trade Unions. The President remained as a spectator for a dramatisation of Larkin’s famous speech from a hotel window off O’Connell Street, his subsequent arrest and the riot that led to a police baton charge resulting in more than 300 injuries.
Joe Costello TD, Minister for Trade & Development at Jim Larkin statue Photo: © Michael Fisher (NUJ)
The annual ICTU May Day rally and parade is taking place in Belfast on Saturday 4th May. Gather beside the NUJ banner at Writers’ Square near St Anne’s Cathedral at 12 noon for speeches followed by a march through the city centre accompanied by brass, pipe and samba bands. The march will finish back at Writers’ Square where food and entertainment will be provided. Help celebrate the wins and achievements of the trade union movement over the years and show that we are proud to be trade unionists. It’s one of a series of events organised by Congress on the occasion of the centenary of the 1913 Dublin lockout.
BBC Strike, March 2013
The May Day march is among the biggest in the UK and Ireland, and will feature speeches from leading union activists. With sponsorship from the European Union Regional Development Fund, Belfast City Council and the Community Relations Council, are presenting an extended festival programme with events for everyone, including walking tours, exhibition launches, lectures and the May Day and Diversity Festival. Amongst the numerous events taking place will be the collaborative exhibition World of Work (WOW) at the Golden Thread Gallery, to celebrate the essence of May Day and showcase the often hidden value of trade union learning initiatives. The gallery will also host the Through the Lens Photographic Exhibition. Over the last six months groups of trade union members and activists have worked to interpret ‘Diversity’ through digital photography. They have come up with images of diversity in all its forms. The opening night will include a DJ set from Love Music Hate Racism and a performance piece from Scream Blue Murmur.