Aug 27

Eastwaller arrested for insulting a British Royal – Walter Carpenter (1911)

On this date, 27th August, over one hundred years ago an East Wall resident had just been released from a month long sentence in Mountjoy Jail. Walter Carpenter, with an address at 8 Caledon Road, had been convicted of “using language calculated to lead to a breach of the peace and with having endeavoured to degrade the King in the esteem of his subjects “.To celebrate his release a welcome home rally was held at Liberty Hall addressed by James Connolly.

On the 101st anniversary of the “Walter Carpenter Free” assembly, Joe Mooney of the East Wall History Group is delighted to take the opportunity to tell the story of the jailing of Walter Carpenter, and also details from the life of a man who was an active Socialist campaigner, an election candidate, ITGWU organiser and General Secretary of Dublin’s “Jewish Union”. Walter was a prominent figure in Dublin during the first quarter of the twentieth century, and it is timely that the East Wall community become more aware of the story of this little known resident.


Walter Carpenter jailed
Dublin in July 1911 was preparing for a visit from King George V. Amongst those opposing the visit was the Socialist Party of Ireland. James Connolly was a leading member, and its secretary was Walter Carpenter, from Caledon Road. The party had offices in Great Brunswick Street, but was also very much associated with events held at Liberty Hall, Beresford Place. Walter Carpenter was a well-known figure and frequently convened and addressed public gatherings.

The party had produced a very strong leaflet denouncing not only the King (“Murder, treachery, adultery, incest, theft, perjury – every crime known to man has been committed by someone or other of the race of monarchs from whom King George is proud to trace his descent”) but also condemning the whole concept of royalty from a working class perspective. It proclaimed that “The future of the working class requires….that all privileges of birth or wealth is abolished, and that every man or woman born into this land should have an equal opportunity to attain to the proudest position in the land.” And that “the sovereignty of labour must supersede and destroy the sovereignty of birth and the monarchy of capitalism.”

On the 4th of July a protest had taken place against a planned loyal address to Dublin Corporation, at which a Union Jack was burned. The protest had resulted in the arrest and jailing of SPI members Helena Moloney and James McArdle. Helena Moloney had come equipped with a handbag full of stones which she distributed, and threw one herself through a Nassau street window displaying tributes to the King. Five days later Walter chaired a meeting a meeting at Beresford Place to protest at their jailing, at which up to 1,000 people attended. He stated that “the working men of the city regarded the Lord Mayor as a traitor to their cause and that of Irish Nationality”.

The meeting made clear that there would be “no petition to any officer of the crown for the release for the prisoners prior to the expiration of their sentence” but that “arrangements would be made to give them a most enthusiastic reception on their release”. This was indeed the case, but Walter would not be in attendance, instead serving his own sentence in Mountjoy by the time the anti-monarchists were freed.

Socialist Party Leaflet 1911

Perhaps it was in response to growing tension in anticipation of the Kings visit, or perhaps it was due to Carpenters prominent role and provocative comments, but by the following week the authorities seemed ready to respond decisively. On 14th July a public meeting was held by the Socialist Party of Ireland in Beresford Place, with Walter speaking on “Socialism, Royalty, and Nationality”. During the course of his speech, he also produced a copy of the leaflet quoted from above. He was arrested immediately, and taken to Store street station nearby, where he was charged with “using language calculated to lead to a breach of the peace and having endeavoured to degrade the king in the esteem of his subjects.” Bail was provided by Jim Larkin. He appeared before the Northern Police Court the following day to answer the charges. According to police evidence, Walter had referred to decorations put up in the streets in honour of the Kings visit and asked “Do you know who you are honouring? Royalty who belong to the House of Brunswick. I do not know if you know the history of that House, but I can tell you. You are honouring the offspring of one of the vilest scoundrels that ever entered our country.”
Walter, who had no legal representation, denied inciting a crowd to riot but stated clearly that he“had always advocated political action for the working classes.” His comments were, he added “In reference was to a system, not to a person.” Unsurprisingly, the magistrate found Walter guilty and imposed a fine of 40 shillings. On refusing to pay, he was sentenced to a month in Mountjoy Jail.


Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) removing protest material

While Carpenter was in jail Moloney and McArdle were freed, and did indeed receive a “most enthusiastic reception on their release”. Perhaps too enthusiastic, as during the celebration Moloney was arrested again, as was Countess Markievicz! With Carpenter in jail, Markievicz chaired the welcome home meeting at Beresford place, addressing the crowd of over 1,000 from the back of a truck, with a very large police presence in place. She acknowledged that Carpenter had been organising this home-coming before his jailing, and Francis Sheehy Skeffington proposed the following: “That this meeting gives a warm welcome to Mr.McArdle and Miss Moloney on their release from Mountjoy jail, and express its respect for all those who have suffered for their convictions in Ireland…”
Helena Moloney thanked the crowd for the magnificent reception she had received. She then said that there was one man who was not present and she would like to say a word about him. This was Walter Carpenter, who she said had been sent to jail and she then proceeded to repeat the comments he had made relating to the King.At this stage an Inspector and accompanying constable moved to arrest Helena Moloney. In climbing onto the lorry he was, as a newspaper report politely put it, “repelled by the Countess Markievicz by means of her foot”. More police moved in and “Amidst considerable excitement and booing the women were taken to Store Street Police Station”. Moloney was charged with offences identical to Walters, while Markievicz was charged with assault, (not only for the repelling by means of her foot, but also by throwing gravel into the face of another constable).

On Sunday 27th August a meeting was held at Beresford Place to welcome the release of Carpenter. He was joined by, amongst others, Helena Moloney, Jim Larkin and James Connolly, who presided. The Irish Worker (paper of the ITGWU) carried a report under the title “Walter Carpenter Free”:

“In the course of his address opening the proceedings Mr Connolly said he was glad to see such a large meeting despite the rain and other adverse circumstances. They had their comrade, Carpenter, again with them, and next to him, but perhaps higher in the degree of criminality, they had Miss Molony (applause). It is, continued Mr Connolly, perfectly shocking to hear you cheer such criminals. I take it that in expressing my own sentiments in this matter I am expressing the sentiments of every man around me – that is to say, that in welcoming Carpenter on his release from prison, we take that opportunity, not only of associating ourselves with him in the crime that he committed, but of declaring our fullest sympathy, and not only our fullest sympathy, but our completely unqualified endorsement of the words for which he was sent to prison (cheers)…… In conclusion Mr Connolly read for the meeting the following resolution, which would be proposed for adoption:- “That this meeting of Dublin workers tenders a cordial welcome to Mr Walter Carpenter on his release from prison, and heartily congratulates him on his timely and effective protest against the recent outburst of flunkeyism in the city” (cheers).”

An unrepentant Walter addressed the assembled crowd and was enthusiastically cheered and applauded. Having expressed his thanks for the warm reception he had received, he then stated: “I went to Mountjoy Prison with the spirit of revolution in my heart, and I have come out with that spirit intensified to the thousandth degree”.

Letter head of Socialist Party of Ireland

Walter Carpenter – Trade unionist and revolutionary socialist
Walter Carpenter was born in Kent, England in 1871. His trade was a chimney cleaner, as was his father before him. By the 1890′s he was living in Dublin, and had previously lived in Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) and South King Street before moving to 8 Caledon Road in the North Dock Ward. According to the 1911 census Walter was living here with his wife and eight children (six boys and two girls), aged 16 years to 1 year. Most of the children were school going age or younger, while his oldest son is listed as a chimney cleaner. Walters own occupation is recorded as Secretary- Socialist Party of Ireland. (In later years the family appears to be split between two addresses – 8 Caledon Road and 110 Foley Street).

Walter was an active socialist and Trade unionist. He was an organiser with the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (I.T.G.W.U). A compatriot of ITGWU organiser Jim Larkin, this anecdote featuring the two men is repeated in Padraig Yeates “Lockout Dublin 1913″ – “During protracted disputes there was little or no ready cash in the union funds. One week during the 1911 strike by ITGWU members in Wexford, Larkin split a pound with the former English sweep Walter Carpenter, one of the union organisers. ‘Even Jim shrunk from offering Mrs Larkin 10s for her weekly housekeeping, and begged Carpenter to call round and leave the money with her’ one early historian of the Irish labour movement wrote. “ In September of 1911, shortly after his month in jail Walter was the main speaker at the launch the Sligo branch of the union, leading the Bishop of the Diocese described Carpenter as “an imported mischief maker”.

The 1913 Lockout
1913 was a milestone year for Dublin – two major events occurred that were of great significance to the city’s working class. The great Lockout began in August, when the workers and their trade unions were to go head to head with the employers in an all-out war. Soon after, on September 2nd the Church Street disaster occurred, when two overcrowded tenements collapsed, killing seven people and injuring many more. This tragedy focussed attention on the appalling housing conditions in the city, and was to help highlight the fact that many members of Dublin Corporation were also slum landlords. These events, the Lockout and the broader issues of working Class life in the city were to feature heavily in Walters’s activity.
During the Lockout, in a reversal of their roles from 1911, Walter was to speak at a rally welcoming the release of James Connolly from jail. Connolly had been arrested at Liberty Hall at the end of August, along with another Union leader, William Partridge. Charged with “incitement to cause a breach of the peace”, Partridge agreed to be bound over and was released on bail, while Connolly refused and was sentenced to three months imprisonment. Connolly engaged in a hunger strike (and later escalated this to thirst strike) which led to concerns about his health. As a result, he was eventually set free early. Though Connolly himself was too weak to attend, a meeting to celebrate his release was held by the Socialist Party of Ireland at Beresford Place. Addressing a crowd of up to four thousand, Walter used his speech to condemn the City’s Chief Magistrate E.G. Swifte. He had become notorious for his harshness in dealing with strike related cases , and had not only ordered the jailing of Connolly but had also issued the proclamation banning Larkins meeting on Sackville Street , which led to the now infamous baton charges. Walter revealed that Swifte was a shareholder in William Martin Murphy’s Dublin United Tram Company, and condemned him strongly: “He described Swifte as a man who ‘helped create this strike and in his own interests…signed the proclamation, and in his own interests too…sent James Connolly to gaol for three months(cries of “shame”).’ Interestingly, newspaper reports ignored these accusations, but they were recorded as quoted above by a Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) note taker at the meeting.

Tackling Slum housing – “the cave dwellings of Dublin”

Image In December of that year, Carpenter participated in “The Inquiry into the housing conditions of the Working Classes of Dublin,” held at City Hall. Representing the Independent Labour Party, Carpenter claimed that they had “Hundreds of members in Dublin, comprising of all classes-University men, professors, coal porters, dock labourers and a captain. There were houses in different areas which were absolutely neglected by the corporation, and should have been closed long ago.” He also claimed that “this inquiry would never have been held only the houses fell in Church Street and killed some persons”.

He also gave a number of examples of the appalling housing conditions he knew of – detailing how in South Cumberland Street he had “found a family living in a dark cellar. He had described it as one of the cave dwellings of Dublin. Such dwellings were common all over the city. A yard in Foley Street was in a filthy condition. The people had to get themselves saturated in alcohol before they could live in such conditions”.
And “two houses in the North Dock Ward were without proper drainage, and the corporation officials neglected their duty in regard to them. The houses were drained into a ditch at the back of other houses, and it was not until four children died that the public health committee acted in the matter.”
He was not afraid to name members of the Corporation and other politicians as owners of slum property, and he accused the authorities of serving their interests, while some “conscientious officials” were afraid of their bosses and “would not interfere with their slum property”.
He didn’t just criticise, but also made a number of recommendations. This included holding night sittings of corporation meetings, so workers could attend, which he believed would lead to “a better class of councillor”. Having branded recently built houses as not fit for a working class family to live in (“The houses did not provide for home comforts and everyone of them should be provided with a bath”) he made a detailed recommendation – “Immediate provision should be made for at least 10,000 families” but acknowledged that this “meant a problem that could only be solved with the assistance of the state in the matter of finance” which must “must work for the improvement of the life of the people as a whole”.

The next year Walter was again to highlight the high levels of corruption. He claimed that over £3,000 a year was received by members of the corporation in rebates on rates. Rebates of between 25 to 33 per cent of rates were available on property if it was in good condition. Having become aware of this, he obtained the applications for rebates by members of the corporation for the past decade, and compared them to the sanitary officers’ reports. He discovered that several members had received rebates on properties judged unfit.

1911 election


Municipal Elections 1914

In January 1914, as the Lockout was continuing, municipal elections were scheduled to take place in Dublin. Walter stood in the Fitzwilliam Ward as an Independent Labour candidate. His campaign was launched at a meeting in the National Boy Scouts Hall on Camden Street, presided over by Francis Sheehy Skeffington. The large attendance was told that “they all know the magnificent work Mr. Carpenter had done in exposing the slum-owners and the whitewashers. Corruption was rampant in the corporation, and the only public spirited people left were the workingmen of the Dublin”. Walter set out his agenda at length, as reported in The Irish Times: “so far as he was concerned, this was going to be a clean fight, without abusive personalities; it must be fought on records of work accomplished or work undone. He was not waiting for his enemies to say that he was a socialist; he placed it at the forefront of his programme.” It also recorded his unashamed commitment to the cause of women’s rights “Another issue on which he was a whole-hogger was the woman question. He believed in the absolute equality of the sexes, and the women rebels were teaching the men to fight. Women working for the corporation or anyone else should be paid the same rate as men for the same work.”

Paper of the suffragette movement

Paper of the suffragette movementIn the week before the election, the Irish Worker had set out the deplorable housing in the city as a central election issue, and promoted the slogan “Vote for Labour and sweep away the slums” It quoted the City Medical Officer of Health as saying “There is no city that I know…which requires a more extensive system of housing improvement to be carried out than Dublin”. It went further, to add “Even those who escape death from the slums still suffer from their curse. They are weakened by bad air and bad food, a prey of sickness, constantly falling out of work through weakness…” The paper described Carpenters platform as one of housing and municipal reform. The Irish Citizen, the paper of the suffragette movement, while expressing its disappointment at the lack of women candidates, called for support for Carpenter. It cited his role in launching the school meals campaign and speeches in favour of women’s franchise. For a working class socialist like Walter, the Fitzwilliam ward was always going to pose a challenge, comprising as it did areas such as Stephens Green, Baggot Street and Harcourt Street).

ImageHe was unsuccessful, receiving only 277 votes, in comparison with the 939 received by his United Ireland League rival. (By contrast, in the North Dock constituency which included East Wall, the ITGWU endorsed candidate received 997 votes, while Alderman Alfie Byrne topped the poll with 1,550 votes).

Back in Court 1914
Shortly after the election Walter was again in court, involved in the case of Simon Mackey, who was accused of assaulting a strike-breaker. Walter was called as an alibi witness for Mackey, whom he claimed was helping his municipal election campaign at the time of the offence. During the trial Walters own character was called into question, as the following exchange during cross examination illustrates:
“Were you ever in jail? “
“I was, for a political offence. I was addressing a public meeting, and one of the policemen at it thought the words I was using were likely to cause a breach of the peace.”
“Were the words not actually cursing the King?”
“No sir, I do not curse”.
“Was it an attack on the King when he came here on a visit?”
“Not his personality. I was attacking a system”.
“You are, I believe, a socialist leader in Dublin?”
“When a man becomes involved in social reform he is generally called a Socialist”
As if this cross examination wasn’t clear enough, the judge, having reviewed the evidence, enquired philosophically: “What was preventing men and masters coming together, coming to terms of good feeling. Goodwill, that long prevailed in the city between them? Was it men of the type of Mackey, or men like him who would substitute the gospel of goodwill for what they called the gospel of social reform?”
Unfortunately the presence of Walter probably did more harm than good, as Mackey was found guilty of common assault.

General Secretary – “the Jewish Union”
In 1913 Walter Carpenter had become the General Secretary of The International Tailors, Machinists and Pressers’ Trade Union.
This Union had been founded in 1908 by Russian Jewish clothing workers from the South Circular Road, part of the citys Little Jerusalem district.
(As early as 1902, during the municipal elections James Connolly had produced material in Yiddish for distribution to Jewish workers in Dublin, the only candidate to do so). In 1909 when the recently formed International Tailors, Machinists and Pressers’ Trade Union was involved in a major strike Walter Carpenter had attended a solidarity rally as a representative of the Socialist Party of Ireland. In 1913 the union’s general secretary retired and Walter took on the role, leading the union until his own retirement in 1925. Often referred to simply as the “Tailors and Pressers union” by its members, the Union was generally known as “the Jewish Union” in Dublin. The unions rule book (published in 1915) makes it clear that the members were largely Jewish. By 1923 its highest ever membership was recorded as 600 (both Jewish and otherwise). In that year the Union was represented for the first time at the Annual Conference of the Irish Trade Union Congress, by two delegates – Walter Carpenter and Isaac Baker. During his speech to Congress, Baker condemned “any discrimination between Jew and Gentile, as long as either does his work right”.
Walter was hard working and deeply committed to the success of the Union -as recently as 2002 his contribution was recalled by SIPTU- “in leading this Union through all the political and industrial strife of those years, their second General Secretary also gave his all. At the end of 1925 Walter Carpenter was himself forced to retire through ill-health, before dying of heart-failure some months later, aged 55.”


Plaque at 52 Camden street (image courtesy William Murphy)


Socialist, workers republican and communist

Aside from his Trade Union work, Walter continued to engage in other political activity. He maintained his involvement with the Socialist Party of Ireland. The party had been established in 1908, and was a successor of sorts to the Irish Socialist Republican Party (founded by Connolly in 1896). The relevance of the SPI ebbed and flowed over the years, but it had a constant presence, and committed core of activists. In terms of its significance as an expression of the organised and militant working class it was continuously overshadowed by other bodies, namely the ITGWU, the Irish Citizen Army and the Labour Party.

In 1917, the party called a rally in support of the successful Bolshevik revolution in Russia. To be Held in the Mansion House, the attendance of an estimated 10,000 surprised the organisers and overflowed onto the streets.
In October of 1918 Walter travelled to Scotland to conduct a lecture tour on behalf of the party, addressing sixteen meetings on the subject of Ireland.

In June of 1919 Walter was arrested in Belfast along with a number of other socialists, later identified by the press as “some men who had been involved with the shipyard strikes in the city last spring”. Walter had taken part in meetings alongside Belfast trade unionist Simon Greenspoon, who was to face charges of unlawful assembly. In court a police witness said that “Carpenter seemed imbued with extreme revolutionary ideals” and it was noted that the meeting concluded with the singing of “The Red Flag”.

Walter was to throw his hat into the electoral arena one final time. In the Dublin municipal elections of January 1920 Walter Carpenter was chosen by the Socialist Party of Ireland’s as a candidate. Along with six men nominated by the ITGWU, he contested the election on a Worker’s Republican platform. Walter was again unsuccessful.

ImageThe Socialist Party of Ireland went through a re-organisation in September of 1921, with Roddy Connolly (the 20 year old son of James Connolly) taking a leading role and Walter Carpenter taking on dual responsibility as General Secretary and editor of its paper, the Workers Republic. A month later the party officially became the Communist Party of Ireland, with Roddy as President and Carpenter maintaining his position.

He was to resign from the position of Secretary with the Communist Party of Ireland in February 1922, explaining “the C.P. is my first love, but my union claims all my time and I cannot, under present circumstances, neglect my union”.

However, he did find the time to speak at a meeting held by the Communist party shortly after May Day in 1923, where he was angered by the celebrations in the city. According to the Irish Times ” There was no cessation of Work in Dublin on Tuesday , as was customary in former years , but the Irish Transport and General Workers Union have arranged to celebrate the occasion by holding a big sports meeting in Croke Park on Sunday.” Walter said of this “The workers of Dublin should bow their heads in shame because there was not a labour stoppage all over the city that day, as was taking place in other countries”. The Irish Times recorded the attendance as between 200 to 300, and also noted that “two red flags were displayed”.

Aside from his socialist and trade union activity, Walter during his life concerned himself with other matters that were considered socially progressive, but were not necessarily political or labour related. Some of his comments during the housing enquiry would suggest some influence of the Garden City movement. In 1915 Walter chaired a meeting on “Garden Allotments”, featuring a lecture by a professor from the Royal College of Science who told the meeting that “A man was never so happy as when he was pottering among his plants…The only reason why working men in towns could not indulge in this pleasure was because of space-there was no land”. While a motion was passed requesting “the Municipal Council to facilitate, to the extent of their power, the use of housing sites for allotment gardens for workers until money was available for building purposes”, Walter emphasised that the meeting was unconnected with any political movement. During his first election campaign he acknowledged having worked many years in the temperance cause, and “had been forced to the conclusion that it was impossible for men and women to lead sober lives in the conditions in which they now lived”.

Walter died in 1926.

Walters Grave at St Paul's, Glasnevin Cemetary

Walters Grave at St Paul’s, Glasnevin Cemetary


Citizen Army at Liberty Hall 1914

A revolutionary heritage -Walters sons serve “under the starry plough”
Walters’s oldest sons, Walter Patrick Carpenter and Peter Carpenter were to follow in their father’s political footsteps. Both were members of the Irish Citizen Army and participated the 1916 Rising. Walter Patrick (aged 21 years) was the officer in command of the boy’s corps and had rallied them outside Liberty Hall on the morning of 24th April, Easter Monday.

In his autobiographical “Drums under the window”, Sean O’Casey describes a brief meeting with Carpenter in Liberty Hall just before the insurrection, where he was characteristically critical of a room set aside for tending the wounded: “Good God, man! he said, turning on poor Wally, can’t you see this is naked foolishness? A Childs pattern of war! Look! he added, gripping the thin little arm, if anyone near you gets a bullet in him, tell him to yell for a hospital where the facts of wounds are known ; where a splints a splint and a probe’s a probe, and where there are surgeons who know how to handle them!”
Walter Patrick Carpenter served in the G.P.O. under James Connolly. 18 year old Peter served first at Annesley Bridge before his unit marched in to the city centre to join the G.P.O. garrison. The two brothers were involved in the heavy fighting which took place- one eye witness account names both Walter and Peter amongst a group who smashed their way through the walls of shop buildings to reach the corner of Abbey Street. Amongst those also listed as being involved in this combat were Oscar Traynor and Sean Russell, who came under heavy British sniper fire from the roofs opposite. Eventually the buildings they were in caught fire.

In the days following the surrender of the republican forces thousands were taken prisoner. Many of these were taken on cattle boats from North Wall to a number of Prisons in England and Wales where they were held before being transferred in mass to the infamous Frongoch Internment camp in Wales, which became home to approximately 1,800 prisoners. One witness account states that both brothers were initially imprisoned at Knutsford jail, where their father visited them. However, this is not the case, as Walter (even though attached to HQ staff) was stationed across street during the fall of the G.P.O. and avoided detention and escaped home. In house to house searches by the British military a jacket that was part of his citizen army uniform was discovered , but his father used his best English accent to mislead them and he was not arrested. The records for Frongoch list Peter Carpenter as a prisoner.
Walter Patrick is later recorded as being involved in military action during the war of Independence. He took the republican side during the Civil War (as the Citizen Army volunteers generally had), and was present during the fighting at the Four Courts in June of 1922. He was captured by the Free State Army and was amongst those imprisoned in Mount joy, where they were for some time accorded prisoner of war status. Here he became close to, and an influence on, the anti-treaty Sinn Fein TD Liam Mellows, who was amongst four prisoners summarily executed in December of that year.
In the 1940′s he was part of the Citizen Army Old Comrades association. They were responsible for commissioning RM Fox to write “The history of the Irish Citizen Army”, and Walter was part of the committee that read the draft to ensure its historical accuracy before its publication in 1943.
Like his father, Walter the younger was later involved in socialist politics and trade Union Organising. Following his father’s death he continued to work with both Roddy and Nora Connolly. He had actually become a carpenter by trade, and became General Secretary of Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers (ASW).In 1959 he became president of the Irish Trade Union Congress. This soon after merged with the Congress of Irish Unions (ending a 14 year split) to became the Irish Congress of Trade Unions which still exists today.
In 1966 RTE radio presented a series of eight  programmes entitled “The week of the rising” in which the day-to-day events of Easter Week 50 years earlier were recalled by participants. Amongst those recorded and telling their stories was Citizen Army member Peter Carpenter.

“I went to Mountjoy Prison with the spirit of revolution in my heart, and I have come out with that spirit intensified to the thousandth degree”.

Walter Carpenter took seriously, and was committed to his political beliefs. In fact, he was so committed that in 1922 he had gone to court (voluntarily on this occasion) to defend them. He took a libel action, claiming £200 damages after a paper had referred to him as “even that alleged socialist” and attributed comments to him he had not made. The comments appeared in “The Distributive Worker” in a report on an arbitration case that Walter had given evidence at. The arbitration ruled in favour of management and the dismissal of two workers was upheld. During the hearing before the circuit court, the editor of the paper appeared as witness and it was reported that “In the course of cross examination, witness was asked if it were his impression, from the evidence given at the Dail arbitration by Mr. Carpenter, that he (Mr. Carpenter) was a supporter of the capitalist and of sweating exploited workers. Witness responded that it was the natural deduction.” The court did not share this view, and ruled in favour of Walter, awarding him ¼ d and £6 costs. While not a significant monetary award, it was a moral victory, and his reputation was intact.

Walter Carpenter (1871 to 1926) – socialist, trade unionist and defamer of the King- lived in number 8 Caledon Road, East Wall.


8 Caledon Road a century later

(This article was first published by the East Wall History Group in 2012 and the text is presented here as per the original , with additional illustrations . In 2016 , in conjunction with the Carpenter family we  unveiled this plaque at number 8 Caledon Road and published a short biography of Walter written by his Grand-Daughter , Ellen Galvin)

Plaque on family home



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