On January 21st, 1876, a man was born who would change Ireland forever. That man’s name was James Larkin. This incredible man, born in Liverpool England, was an activist who helped create one of Ireland’s biggest Unions. However, growing up he was not able to receive much of a formal education.
In his youth, Jim Larkin was expected to help receive income for his family, because of that he worked quite a few different jobs. This is what eventually helped him become passionate about workers being treated fairly. Due to this new found passion, Larkin decided to join his first Union: The National Union of Dock Labourers.
After some time, James was sent to Dublin. That is where he helped founded the Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union. He wanted to help put all workers into one big organization. During this time period, he also helped form the Irish Labour Party and was the leader of many strikes. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/
Many people in Ireland felt as if they weren’t getting the respect that they deserved by British Labor. That is just one reason why James’s new found Union had such a great impact. He came to help just at the right time.
However, in 1914 James Larkin headed out to the United States. In the United States, James sought after a new career. Here he was able to become a socialist speaker. However, with a job like this, earning enough income was not an easy task. Then, eventually, by 1918 James was ready to head back to Dublin.
By the 1920’s, there were many who found him to be rather worrisome. Even his dear wife Elizabeth one refused to help get him out of Jail. Over the years he became even more difficult. He even lost many of his dear friends and allies. Him and his wife even eventually separated.
Sadly, in 1946 James passed away. He had fallen through the floor of a building while it was being repaired. Jim Larkin then died in the hospital on January 30th, of that year. During the last years of his life, Jim had calmed down and became more respected.This incredible man truely was a great leader who changed the workforce in Ireland forever.