Date Released: 01 October 2013
The 100th anniversary of the first food shipment from the British TUC to support striking workers and their families during the 1913 Lockout will be re-enacted on Saturday, 5th October at 11.30 am at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2.
The Lockout began in August 1913 after tramway drivers and conductors, members of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, went on strike for better pay and conditions. In response, the Chairman of the Dublin United Tramway Company and President of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, William Martin Murphy, persuaded 400 employers to lock out members of the ITGWU, as well as any other employees who refused to disassociate themselves from Jim Larkin's union. Thousands of Dublin workers who were members of the ITGWU, were suspected of being members or were members of other unions and would not sign declarations disowning the ITGWU were locked out and replaced by strike breakers. Eventually over 25,000 workers were involved in strikes and lockouts.
The effects of the Lockout bore heavily on thousands of families in the City, who faced poverty and starvation. The food aid, contributed by workers and their unions across Britain, delivered vital sustenance and hope to the families affected by the lockout.
The commemoration of the anniversary of the first food ship arrival to Dublin acknowledges the critical importance of the solidarity and practical support of the British Trade Union Movement towards supporting struggling families to survive one hundred years ago. The value of the food aid donated equates to over €20,000,000 in today’s terms.
Unions are urged to encourage members and their families to come along for the re-enactment and event which will run from 11.30am-1.30pm, and promises to be a really enjoyable occasion. Those attending are encouraged to ‘dress’ for the occasion!
The organisers gratefully acknowledge the support received for the SS Hare re-enactment from Congress, Dublin Port Company, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), Ramsey Steam Ship Company ,the RMT, SIPTU and Unite the Union, and for the contribution of the North Inner City Folklore Project, Dublin Council of Trade Union, Ken Fleming ITF and Brian Treacy.
Joe O'Flynn (SIPTU General Secretary) Sally Anne Kinahan (Irish Congress of Trade Unions Assistant General Secretary) and Padraig Yeates (Historian) Congress 1913 Lockout Commemoration Committee
100th Anniversary of the Arrival of the SS Hare Food Ship in Dublin, 11.30am on the 5th October 2013, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2