On 26 August 1913 the trams stopped running in Dublin. Striking conductors and drivers, members of the Irish Transport Workers’ Union, abandoned their vehicles. They had refused a demand from their employer, William Martin Murphy of the Dublin United Transport Company, to forswear union membership or face dismissal. The company then locked them out. Within a month, the charismatic union leader, James Larkin, had called out over 20,000 workers across the city in sympathetic action. By January 1914 the union had lost the battle, lacking the resources for a long campaign. But it won the war: 1913 meant that there was no going back to the horrors of pre-Larkin Dublin. Yeates outstanding survey in Lockout: Dublin 1913 has already established itself as the definitive work on the Lockout.
Image: Part of the 1913 Lockout tapestry as designed by Robert Ballagh
Padraig Yeates is a member of the 1913 Committee that co-ordinated events around the Lockout Centenary during 2013. He is a former Industry and Employment Correspondent of the Irish Times and has been a union activist all his life. He has written several books including Lockout: Dublin 1913, A City in Wartime: Dublin 1914-1918 and A City in Turmoil: Dublin 1919 -1921.