Jim Larkin: Fighter For Workers’ Rights in Ireland

Jim Larkin’s impact on history is still evident to this day after his passing in 1947. The trade union organizer is memorialized in several different ways including a statue that was erected in Dublin on O’Connell Street and a road dedicated to his name in Liverpool, the city where he grew up in.

The road is known as James Larkin Way and can be found in the district of Kirkdale. In 2008, Liverpool was named the European Capital of Culture and held the Liverpool Irish Festival. This festival an evening to Jim Larkin at the bar known as ‘Casa’ where the dockers of the city tend to congregate. Read more: James Larkin | Biography

This event was deemed the James Larkin Evening and had figures like Francis Devine in attendance. Francis Devine wrote an extensive history of the Dublin trade union movement that included the formation of the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union in which Jim Larkin played an integral part in the organization. Learn more about Jim Larkin: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g186605-d4206658-Reviews-Jim_Larkin_Statue-Dublin_County_Dublin.html

After making immeasurable contributions to the Irish trade union movement, Jim Larkin is seen as a hero to some and a villain to others. Jim Larkin began working to help support his family at the young age of 7, his responsibility to his family increased after his father passed away when he was only 14 years old.

In the years following his father’s death, Jim Larkin eventually worked his way up to the position of foreman, but never forgot his roots as a hard-working docker.

Despite obtaining the position, he joined his employees when they went on strike in 1903 and lost his job as foreman because of his actions. Read more: The Definite Biography of Big Jim Larkin – Irish Examiner and James Larkin | Biography

This was just the start of Jim Larkin’s career in his fight for equality. His empathy for the working class and disgust of the injustice taking place around the world fueled Jim Larkin as he went on to organize multiple trade unions and strikes against unfair treatment.

One of the most historically noted of these strikes is known as the Dublin Lockout that took place in the year 1913. While the police tried to stop the strike, Jim Larkin and his men remained strong for several months.

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