Date Released: 11 February 2016
A new SIPTU banner commemorating the trade unionist, James Fearon, who was born in Newry, county Armagh, was unveiled by the SIPTU Dublin Bus Drivers Section in Liberty Hall, Dublin, on Wednesday, 10th February.
SIPTU Transport, Energy, Aviation and Construction Division Organiser, Owen Reidy, said: “In the early years of the 20th century James Larkin burnt a path down the east coast of Ireland organising general workers. Out of this great crusade the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU), which is now part of SIPTU, was born. One of Larkin’s trusty lieutenants in this campaign was his friend and comrade, James Fearon from Newry.
“Fearon was a founding member of the ITGWU and its first Vice President, and it is fitting that the SIPTU Dublin Bus Drivers Section has chosen to place his image on their new banner. Fearon made great sacrifices in the fight for unskilled and vulnerable workers, not only in Ireland but also Scotland. In Northern Ireland his role is remembered in the union offices called after him. With the struggles that lie ahead for us, it is inspiring to remember how those before us faced similar adversity and built up our union.”
SIPTU Dublin Bus Drivers Section President, Steve Hannon, said: “The section thought it appropriate to commission a new banner, one that would reflect our industry and one that would give homage to the great labour leader, James Fearon. As we seek to continue to organise transport workers and stand up for public transport there is much we can learn from looking back at previous struggles in order to prepare for the future.”