SAT 9th OCT 12 Noon

Assemble  Mount Pleasant Liverpool L3 5TQ

Biggest left/Irish republican event in England

Organised by Cairde na heireann

James Larkin, the son of Irish parents, was born in Liverpool on 21st January 1876. When he was five years old he was sent to live with his grandparents in Newry in Ireland.

Larkin returned to England in 1885 and found employment as a dock labourer. Converted to socialism, Larkin joined the Independent Labour Party in 1893 and spent his spare time selling The Clarion.

In 1893 Larkin became a foreman dock-porter for T. & J. Harrison Ltd. The following year he was sacked when he went on strike with his men. Larkin remained active in the union and in 1906 he was elected General Organizer of the National Union of Dock Labourers (NUDL).

Larkin was now sent to Dublin to organize casual and unskilled workers in the docks. On 11th August 1907 Larkin formally launched the NUDL in the city. Over the next twelve months Larkin recruited 2,700 men to the union. He also led three strikes and the NUDL, concerned by the costs of these industrial disputes, suspended Larkin on 7th December 1908.

Larkin established his own union, the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU). As well as Dublin the union had branches in Belfast, Derry and Drogheda.

The ITGWU also had a political programme that included a “legal eight hours’ day, provision of work for all unemployed, and pensions for all workers at 60 years of age. Compulsory Arbitration Courts, adult suffrage, nationalisation of canals, railways, and all the means of transport. The land of Ireland for the people of Ireland.”

Statue of James Larkin on O’Connell Street, Dublin


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