I was very proud to be part of the great crowd that turned up to the commemoration of the 1913 Lockout in O’Connell Street on Saturday. Dublin’s Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn addressing the crowds reminded us that ‘knowledge of our history is intrinsic to citizenship’. Passages from James Plunkett’s pivotal book about the lockout ’Strumpet City’ were read by actors Bryan Murray and Angela Harding who starred in RTE’s TV series of the book. The wonderful voice of Ciara Sidine entertained the crowds as she sang about the Magdalen women.
A staged re-enactment of James Larkin’s speech to the crowd and his arrest and the baton charge on the large crowd by the Dublin Metropolitan Police was held in the centre of O’Connell Street near the Larkin statue with spectators joining in the ‘Down Murphy‘ and ‘Up Larkin’ chants.
The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, laid a wreath at the statue along with Labour and Union leaders as the hardship endured by workers and their families for many months as they fought for better working conditions during the Lockout was remembered.