Friday 16 November 2018

The union cult of Larkin is built on factually baseless myths

'WE are here today to commemorate James Larkin, the founder of our union and the modern labour movement," declared Jack O'Connor, president of SIPTU, recently. "If we are to be honestly true to the legacy of Jim Larkin, it behoves us to abandon our sectarian comfort zones."

Good. So let's revisit some of Larkin's "sectarian comfort zones". In December 1915, at the height of The Lockout, the founder of the Irish Transport & General Workers Union refused to attend a fund-raising rally in Grimsby, because the proposed chairman, Ernest Marklew, was a divorcee. The sell-out meeting had to be cancelled, with a huge financial loss to the Lockout workers.

Jack O'Connor compared the honesty of Larkin with our bankers. Really? Even before the Lockout, Larkin had been imprisoned for the embezzlement of union funds, but was released early, at the personal intervention of the Lord Lieutenant.

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