The ‘Lion’ roars once more
“Jim Larkin” rallies the workers – East Wall 2009
On the 30th of January 1947 Big Jim Larkin passed away. In the Irish Times the following day, Sean O’Casey commented: “It is hard to believe that this ‘lion’ of the Irish Labour movement will roar no more”.
Today, on the anniversary of Larkin’s death, and in the centenary year of the Great Lockout, we are delighted to release this short video clip. It features the conclusion of a dynamic rendition of one of Larkin’s most famous speeches, as performed by actor and activist Jer O’Leary. This was recorded in the Seabank House in 2009 at a fund raising event for workers involved in a protracted strike at Marine Terminals Limited (MTL) in Dublin Port.
As O’Casey also stated in his Irish Times piece: “There was a man sent from God whose name was Jim, and that man was Larkin. Jim Larkin is not dead, but is with us, and will be with us always.”
Thanks to Jer’s passionate performance, the ‘lion’s roar again thundered in Dublin’s Docks.
The Playwright Sean O’Casey is one of East Walls most famous residents. He was a contemporary of Larkin, and was involved in many of the same struggles. A few days after Larkins passing in 1947 he again wrote passionately about his memory of Larkin:
“I heard this man speak to dockers, coalheavers and drivers in Beresford place. There he was, larger than the life we knew, standing above the Dublin workers, telling them of the story the workers must write themselves. In this man’s burning words were the want, the desire, the resolution of the world’s workers…The personal manifestation of ‘Each for all, and all for each’. The symbol of a march forward; not in twos and threes; not this union today, that one tomorrow; but a march forward en masse for what the workers never had, but for what they will have and hold forever.”
We will be featuring two further pieces on Jim Larkin over the next week. A major element of the The East Wall History groups work this year will relate to the 1913 Lockout and events in the Docklands community. If you have any stories passed down through your family, or your own memories of strikes, trade unions or working in the docklands in later years please contact us at : firstname.lastname@example.org