Lockout 1913: Reenactment of ugly scenes in Dublin
President Michael D Higgins led the centenary commemoration of the 1913 Lockout today by laying a wreath at the statue of Irish trade union leader and socialist activist James Larkin.
Over 20,000 people attended the event - which mainly focused around the Larkin statue on Dublin’s O’Connell Street.
The President clapped and laughed, visibly enjoying the festivities, as actor Ger O’Leary took to the stage in the convincing guise of Jim Larkin.
To a roaring crowd, who were dressed in early 20th centaury attire as part of a re-enactment of the events of 1913, his voice boomed over the speakers as he repeated the call of yesteryear.
“The bosses of Dublin are using starvation as their weapon,” he roared to cheers from the streets, “but they will fall as all tyranny will fail.”
He continued: “The hunger that we have awakened will not be satisfied by bread alone.”
As horse drawn wooden ambulances and police carts sped through the streets to collect up the ‘peasants’ cheering on the speech, a strong crowd who had gathered to watch the celebrations clearly got into the spirit of the day.
As part of the re-enactment, actors dressed as ‘Bobbies’ with batons ran after the peasant crowd in an attempt to squash the protests.
The biggest applause of all was saved for the President when he shook hands with actors as he made his way back to the official car.
Sallyann Kinahan, the Assistant General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions said the implications of the Lockout are still evident today:
"We shouldn't forget the struggle that took place 100 years ago that helped in terms of the formation of institutions in this state that have improved a lot for working people," she said.
"But I should also add to that there is a lot more to be done."