Broadcaster Joe Duffy honoured over Lockout commemorations
Published 22/01/2014 | 02:30
Broadcaster Joe Duffy was briefly speechless when he was presented with a trade union badge from 1913 to mark his contribution to the Lockout commemorations.
The 'Liveline' presenter told the Irish Independent that he was delighted with the award from SIPTU, especially as it was totally unexpected.
"I couldn't believe it. I was very surprised and delighted," he said. "I have a great interest in history and a direct link to the 1913 Lockout so I thought the commemoration of it last year was extremely important."
Mr Duffy's grandmother, Agnes Duffy, lived on Church Street, where two tenement buildings collapsed in 1913 due to overcrowding.
"I remember talking to her about it. I was very aware of the Lockout when I was growing up. The events organised throughout 2013 to commemorate the Lockout were all free.
"I tried to participate and promote them as much as possible. I spoke on stage after The Abbey's production of 'The Risen People', I hosted a 1913 event in Aras an Uachtarain, so I was thrilled when they asked me."
The badge, based on the design of the 1913 version issued to union members by Jim Larkin, was presented to the broadcaster by SIPTU General Secretary, Joe O'Flynn, in Liberty Hall.
He was accompanied by his wife, June, his mother Mabel, his children and other family and friends at the ceremony.
"I was very proud to have received the badge so that's why I brought my family with me," Joe said. "Very few people got them: Michael D Higgins, Padraig Yeats and some of descendants of people who died during the Lockout. It's an honour to receive the badge alongside them."
SIPTU General Secretary O'Flynn said: "Joe's involvement in the commemorations of the Lockout centenary was far-reaching. He helped to remind so many people of the sacrifices made, and the courage shown, by 20,000 workers and their families during the Lockout."