Jim Larkin: The life of a man who saved the blue collar workers in Ireland

The period before the First World War witnessed a lot of uprising characterized by loss of peace and social harmony. Anyone in the right senses could clearly see that hell was about to break loose.

There was a lot of pressure for governments to allow women to vote and industrial workers had opened their eyes and they now wanted their rights recognized. In Ireland, the level of activism was at its highest due to the influential activists who led thousands of people to the streets to fight for their rights.

One of the most remembered episodes during this time is the Dublin Lockout of 1913. The uprising began on 26th August 1913 when Dublin United Tramways Company sent hundred men packing because they had joined the Irish Transport and General Workers Union that was led by Jim Larkin.

Irish Transport and General workers union had managed to bring together industrial workers from all over the country under one umbrella. The union had also managed to organize several industrial strikes in a bid to fight for the rights of their workers. Read more: James Larkin – Wikipedia and James Larkin | Biography

William Murphy, the owner of Dublin United Tramways Company was determined to keep the union out of his company. The sacking of hundred men triggered demonstrations in the streets of Dublin. The temperatures escalated when the police started using excessive force to disperse the demonstrators. During the confrontation with the police, one man was killed and hundreds injured.

On 16th November 1913, Jim Larkin and other ITGWU officials organized a historic meeting at the Manchester’s Free Trade Hall. The meeting marked the start of a massive Dublin Lockout that brought Dublin to a standstill.

Jim Larkin, James Connolly, and other trade union officials led the meeting that saw more than ten thousand industrial workers down their tools for eight months.

About Jim Larkin

Jim Larkin was born on January 21st, 1876 to Irish parents who lived in the slums of Cumberland, Liverpool. Jim Larkin was brought up like any other kid who grows in the slums.

He hardly acquired good education and eating was also a problem. As a result, he was forced to menial jobs from a young age. At the age of seventeen years, Jim started working as a foreman. He then joined the Independent Labor Party.

Outside of work, Jim Larkin was a vocal socialist who believed in fighting for equal rights for the workers. He did not drink nor smoke. Besides, during his time as a foreman, Jim never accepted bribes to give men jobs. He never cordoned any wrongdoing.