Jim Larkin – The Great Activist

With equal parts unbridled tenacity and blind valiancy, James Larkin, a valued member of the socialist movement, set out to change history by demanding that workers be offered adequate working conditions. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/jim-larkin-released-from-prison and http://ireland-calling.com/james-larkin/

The unbearable labor conditions Larkin endured during his stint as a foreman proved the catalyst for his efforts. Growing up, Larkin was no stranger to the strains peculiar to destitute lifestyles.

The capricious nature of the economy left Larkin’s family so helpless that Larkin was forced to find a job at a tender age so he could support them. Though Larkin was familiar with poverty-stricken environments, even he could recognize that the conditions presented to him were wholly insufficient. Read more: James Larkin | Wikipedia and  James Larkin | Biography

As an attempt to right the wrongs that “the man” had inflicted onto workers, Larkin vowed to harness his resentment for the sake of establishing fair employment laws. His initiation into the National Union of Dock Labourers marked the beginning of Larkin’s socialist movements.

In fact, Larkin’s involvement in the NUDL emboldened him to form a movement of his own, dubbed the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union.

Thanks to his staunch supporters, the ITGWU precipitated a revolution, with the Dublin Lockout being the most memorable outcome to arise from Larkin’s union. In short, the Dublin Lockout was a sequence of strikes that transpired over eight arduous months, eventually leading to the right of fair employment.

The year following this tremendous feat, Larkin headed to America in the hopes of spreading his notions. Many found his crazed ideals repugnant, and Larkin was soon thereafter unlawfully convicted of criminal anarchy and communism. Fortunately, he was pardoned three years later but was forced to return to his birthplace, Ireland.

The end of Larkin’s noble legacy came in 1947, when Larkin went peacefully at the Meath Hospital. The impact that Larkin’s had on progressivism does not elude most, and he’ll be fondly remembered as an earnest man of unwavering conviction.