Jim Larkin, Advocate For Ireland

Because of his tireless dedication and advocacy for Ireland, Jim Larkin has truly emerged as a historical figure that was larger than life. Larkin actually stood in the gap, so to speak, because of his fellow irishman located in Dublin.

 

Who was Big Jim Larkin? The best answer to that question is that he was the man who was instrumental in the beginning of the Irish Labor Movement in the early 1900s. Larkin launched a trade union called the ITGWU, and this sparked the labor movement in his beloved home country of Ireland.

 

After founding the ITGWU, Big Jim Larkin was associated with several views popular in Ireland at the time. He was popular with unions, so he launched the Irish Worker magazine in 1911. This led to the advent of “The Great Labour Unrest” that same year, and because of this, Parliament agreed to the establishment of the Labour Party in 1912. One other result of this would be the fact that the union grew from 5,000 members to 15,000 members.

 

These glory years ended in 1913 with a lockout simply because Jim desired his union to have the ability to push his workers from casual employment to the more steady work provided by the trams. However, the boss of the tramways was disgusted at any potential talk surrounding unionism, and this led to the great lockout of 1913. This would change Jim Larkin, and not necessarily for the better.

 

After a while, Jim Larkin grew weary of ireland and departed for the United States in 1914. Unfortunately, Jim did not plan out the trip very well. he ended up over saying his welcome and people grew tired of him by 1918. There were a number of factors that went into this, but perhaps the biggest reason was because he took a strong pro German stance during World War 1. He would end up being thrown into Sing Sing prison in 1919 for attempting to turn the Socialist party into another branch of Communism. He was pardoned in 1923 and deported to England. While in England, he had a large role in opposing the Trade Union Act in 1941 and that definitely improved his standing once again.

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