Jim Larkin: Hero Of The Working Person
Jim Larkin may not have been born in Dublin, Ireland but his life and career will forever be tied to the Irish capital where the socialist trade union leader made his name and his reputation.
Born in Liverpool in 1874, Jim Larkin left school with few qualifications and worked a variety of part-time jobs in order to help his family before finding his true calling as a union organizer in 1905 for the National Union of Dock Laborers.
The radical ideas and overt socialist ideology of the union leader led to him being exiled to Dublin where less than 10 percent of the workforce were union members.
Larkin spent the most successful part of his career in Dublin, Ireland looking to create a new working culture for the workers of the nation including the unskilled workers who had often been ignored by the unions that did exist; Larkin created the Transport and General Workers Union and the Irish Labour Party which remain his legacy in the 21st-century. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml and http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/
The 1913 Dublin Lockout was the crowning glory of the career of Jim Larkin as the result was more than 100,000 workers striking for more than eight months under the leadership of Larkin.
Widely seen as a failure because of a dedicated campaign on behalf of the newspaper barons of Ireland and England, the Dublin Lockout has been reevaluated by modern scholars as a turning point in relations between employees and employers in Ireland, particularly for unskilled workers.
By 1914, in the wake of the aftermath of the Dublin Lockout, Jim Larkin set sail for America in a bid to start a public speaking career which he had not planned but felt he could begin with ease.
After joining the Socialist Workers Party in New York, Larkin was jailed for his socialist beliefs and would be deported from the U.S. in 1920 and failed to find himself a role in the socialist party of Ireland but was elected as a member of the Labour Party.
Since his death in 1947, the legacy of Jim Larkin has been reassessed with many believing his role in Irish politics should be of the highest importance.