James Larkin

James Larkin and Mary Ann McNulty brought to the world in 1876, a son who was to take trade unionism to a different level. But they would not know this at his birth on January the 21st because by then, they lived in a slum in Liverpool. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/jim-larkin-released-from-prison

Simple living is how things were for the family at the beginning. However, James Larkin put in some effort and helped his father who worked at a firm. James Larkin senior left the family while he was still much needed. He died in 1890. James Larkin junior took his mantle and provided for the family for some time.

He lost his father’s job at the firm. The months that followed entailed Larkin’s search for work elsewhere. He finally became a sailor. Years later, he became a foreman at the docks of Liverpool. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

His job at the docks is what led to his recognition by the National Union of Dock Laborers. This attention was a good thing because it led to James Larkin’s appointment as an organizer, and a permanent member.

The first time that NUDL posted James Larkin to Scotland, he was full ecstatic because he was finally doing something useful and had a purpose. However, the second time he was sent to Ireland in 1906, was followed by a leadership disagreement with James Sexton. This was not long before James Larkin was discontinued from NUDL because of going against the union’s aspirations.

He formed ITGWU in 1908, and this union did a great thing to bring together Irish workers. This union never broke off, but only changed its name and today it is called SIPTU.

Four years after forming ITGWU, James Larkin decided that it was a good thing to join forces with James Connolly in establishing the Irish Labor Party.

The Irish Labour Party is known for many things, among the famous strike in Dublin, 1913. This strike involved very many workers who put their tools down for over seven months. That is why it is known as the Dublin Lockout. James Larkin achieved many things in his life, one being that Irish workers gained rights that had been denied. His work reached the end, with his death in 1947.