A Saturday to remember

Only three days to go and it will be the weekend again. Time to start planning how to make the most of those all-too-short days – Saturday and Sunday. You might be thinking it’s a good time for a spring clean as we head into September, or to pick up those last few bits and bobs needed for the kids going back to school.

Whatever it is, this weekend is not the time for it. Instead you should make your way to O’Connell Street from midday on Saturday to enjoy the commemoration of the 1913 Lockout.

The Lockout took place from August 1913 until January 1914 and involved tens of thousands of workers and their families. The workers sacrificed their incomes, their food, and their clothes to unite under union Leader Jim Larkin in the hope that they would force employers to recognise their right to collective bargaining. While the workers ultimately failed, returning to work without winning union recognition, the lockout inspired thousands to join trade unions over the following decades.

Whether you’re a member of a trade union or not; whether you’re from Dublin or not; whether you’re a history buff or not – this is an incredible story from a unique time in Irish history and Saturday’s celebrations are sure to bring it to life.

I was lucky enough to visit the Dublin Tenement Experience last week where ANU Productions brought the story of the workers and the women involved in the Lockout and living in the Dublin tenements to life. It was an utterly captivating performance, done so well that you felt like you had been transported back to 1913, that this was your life and your lockout. The whole experience left you wondering if it had been you, what would you have done? Stay starving in the tenement or return to work and be blacklisted as a scab.

You can be part of it all this weekend in what is guaranteed to be a great day to enjoy the history of Dublin city and the struggle of Irish workers 100 years ago. And, by the way, we’re still waiting for those collective bargaining rights…

Linda Kelly. IMPACT Organiser

State Commemoration: Saturday, 31st August 2013

At 12.30pm President Michael D Higgins will lead the State commemoration of the 1913 Lockout at the Larkin statue on O’Connell Street. This will include musical performances, well-known actors reading from Strumpet City, and drama including an excerpt from ANU Productions’ highly-praised Living the Lockout and a scene from the Risen People. And hear Jim Larkin address the crowds from a 1913-era tram!

Bloody Sunday re-enactment: Saturday, 31st August 2013

Immediately after the official Lockout commemoration, there will be a re-enactment of the events of Bloody Sunday, which took place on 31st August 191. See Larkin arrive in a horse-drawn coach and speak to the crowds before being arrested. And witness the police baton-charge on crowds in Sackville (now O’Connell) Street. Organised by the North Inner City Folklore Project with Dublin Council of Trade Unions.

Read about other Lockout commemorative events