James Larkin (1874-1947) was an Irish socialist republican and prominent trade unionist leader. Born in Liverpool, England to an Irish immigrant family, Larkin quickly became a leading figure in Irish trade unionism, and was instrumental in the 1907 Belfast dock strikes and the 1913 Dublin Lockout. Larkin was a co-founder of the Irish Labour Party, and established the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU). He emigrated to the United States in 1914, becoming instrumental in the growing American socialist movement. He was a fervent supporter of the Russian Revolution, and Vladimir Lenin referred to Larkin ‘as a remarkable speaker and a man of seething energy.’ He was imprisoned in 1920 for the crime of ‘criminal anarchy’, returning to Ireland once more in 1923. He would be elected as a Labour TD on three separate occasions. Larkin was a controversial man in his time, considered by the likes of Arthur Griffith as a ‘wrecker’, yet revered and respected by James Connolly and Éamonn Ceannt. In Dublin, he is to this day affectionally known as ‘Big Jim Larkin’ for his pivotal role during the Lockout.


Redmond’s Proselytising Campaign (1914)