The Irish Worker Bulds On The Career Of Jim Larkin
Jim Larkin is a political figure immortalized in many different areas of life in Ireland, including a statue and in song and literature. Known as “Big” Jim Larkin, the role played by the man born to Irish parents in the English port city of Liverpool in the burgeoning Irish independence movement of the early 20th-century cannot be understated.
Larkin became one of the leading figures in the movement through his work to unionize the workers of Ireland and in creating the left-leaning Irish Labour Party in 1912.
A committed Republican, Jim Larkin was a trade union leader often seen as being ahead of his time in his views and political beliefs which stand at odds with many of the tactics used by many of his contemporaries. Read more: James Larkin | Ireland Calling and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia
Larkin was known for his success as a leader of a number of strikes and successfully launched his own union, the Irish Transport and General Workers Union in December 1908 when he became disillusioned working with the National Dock Laborers Union.
Jim Larkin felt his role in Dublin, Ireland was impossible to continue in 1914 following the negativity directed towards him by media barons of the time who had worked against him to end the 1913 Dublin Lockout general strike.
As the war in Europe broke out to begin World War I, Jim Larkin found himself battling on many different fronts to oppose Irish involvement in a war on the European mainland and to break British rule in Ireland.
A move to the U.S. in 1914 was spurred on by a growing sense that money needed to be raised from North America to fund the growing republican armies within Ireland and for Jim Larkin to develop his own career as a public speaker.
Although successful with the former task, Larkin largely failed to find an audience for his public speaking and was deported for his socialist involvement in 1920.
Had Larkin remained in Ireland and played a role in the 1916 Easter Rising attempts to secure independence from England his place among martyrs like his friend and colleague, James Connelly would have been sealed.
However, following his return to Ireland, Larkin found it difficult to reclaim his former position and would eventually be readmitted to the Irish Labour Party in 1945 just two years before his death.