Wednesday 23 October 2019

'Jim Larkin' rises to deliver May Day plea

Seamus Hughes as Larkin in the annual May Daymarch in Dublin
Seamus Hughes as Larkin in the annual May Daymarch in Dublin
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

IRELAND has a long history of moving statues – however they seldom don a microphone and urge the populous to "rise up".

"Jim Larkin" – aka actor Seamus Hughes – led a crowd of some 600 May Day marchers in a parade down Dublin's O'Connell Street marking 100 years since the Lockout.

"Arise people of Dublin, control your own destiny," he urged bemused commuters as they waited at their bus stops. When not covered in silver paint and standing atop a plinth, Mr Hughes is a member of Equal Ireland, an adult education charitable trust and one of a host of groups, including trade unions, political parties and community workers, who took part in the march.

Some of the most colourful participants were members of Spectacle of Defiance and Hope – a network of community and youth organisations that came together to develop a "creative response" to government cuts to their sector.

They included another "Jim Larkin" – Selma Paige – who sat on horseback as she made her way down O'Connell Street.

Also present were a group dressed as suffragettes to mark 100 years of the Women's Union.

Meanwhile, Catriona Finn, a member of the newly formed Young Workers Network, which represents workers under the age of 35, said her generation are struggling to get a job. "We're being overlooked by the Government. There are so many problems that are almost exclusively facing younger workers – forced emigration, unpaid internships – we have to get the youth voice out there," she said.

Irish Independent

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