Recent Publications

Saothar 44
Fergus A. D'Arcy The strange fate of a Dublin Orphanage: St Peter's, York Street, 1817-1879;
Danny Cusack Thomas Harten; A Strike Breaker in the Dublin Lockout;
John Black Labour Relations in Military Administrative Establishments in Ireland during World War 1: the Army Pay Offices at Cork and Dublin 1910-1921;
Terence Dunne Emergence from the embers: the Meath and Kildare farm labour strike of 1919;
Francis Devine The sinking of RMS Leinster and the Association of Irish Post Office Clerks;
Padraig Yeates 'Was it because my husband lived five years longer to fight for his country that I was treated so badly?' The Military Pensions Board and the widows;
Sean Worgan Irish Freedom and Anarcho-Communism;
David Toms Intermission: Dublin's Locked-Out musicians and working class culture in post-independence Ireland, 1921-31;
Helga Woggon Document Study: 'I will freely and gladly agree to live in the prison' voices from Internment: Winifred Carney, 1916;
Myrtle Hill Labour Lives No. 19: Margaret Taylor McCombrey (1880-1956);
Francis Devine Sources Study: Some additions to the Historical Directory of Trade Unions in Ireland;
David Flood Labour Classic Revisited C.D. Greaves, Liam Mellows and the Irish Revolution;
Fiona Fearon Review Essay: Recovering Irish Writing on the Margins Michael Pierse (ed), A History of Irish Working-Class Writing (Cambridge, 2018) CUP;
Order Saothar 44

Saothar 43
Mary Jones The 1841 Children's Employment Commission Ireland: the employment of children in mines and manufactories;
Leah Dowdall 'A tantrum in a teacup': Women in the Irish working-class movement, 1890-1916;
Mike Mecham William Walker: social activist and Belfast labourist;
Padraig Yeates 'Have you all gone mad' - the 1918 General Strike against Conscription;
Helga Woggon Winifred Carney in the 1918 Elections: Her Stand for Women, James Connolly & the Workers' Republic;
Denis Murphy Ardmore Studios, film workers and the Irish State: creative labour in the 'Decade of Upheaval';
John Newsinger 'To fling defiance into the teeth of the Master Class': The International Socialist Review, 'Larkinism' and the Dublin Lockout;
Ray McLoughlin Children working on Lamb Bros. Fruit Farms in the 1960s and 1970s;
Francis Devine 'If that is not murder, then what is murder?' A Note on Irish Labour and the Titanic ;
Tony Brown Labour Lives: Brendan Corish (1918-1990) Ambition to Serve;
Francis Devine Sources Study: William Norton and the Civil Service Reference Book and Post office Reference Book;
James Curry Labour Classic Revisited: R.M. Fox, Rebel Irishwomen (1935, 1967);
Order Saothar 43

Saothar 42
Peter Murray John McAteer and Marshall Plan technical assistance;
Fionnuala Walsh 'We work with shells all day and night': Irish female munitions workers during the First World War;
Luke Dineen The Cork Harbour Soviet of 1921;
Kieran McNulty Working-Class Radicalism in Co Kerry 1914-22;
Ruairí Gallagher 'Smash every Cross-Channel union': Inter-trade union rivalry in Watt's Distilleries Derry, 1920-21;
Elaine Sugrue Women and Irish trade unionism - a case study: the Irish Drapers' Assistants' Association, 1901-20;
Andy Cook'Nature's Own Moderate': Vivian Simpson and the Northern Ireland Labour Party 1958-72;
Brian Hanley 'We mourn our brothers ...': Workers respond to Bloody Sunday and the conflict in Northern Ireland 1969-72;
Andrew Newby Labour Lives, no. 19: Edward McHugh (1853-19 15);
Peter Rigney Document Analysis - The Dock Strike 1923;
Emmet O'Connor Essay: "Hail Russia!" Labour and the Bolshevik Revolution;
Martin Maguire Sources in the ILHS Archives: The Labour Gazette;
Conor McCabe Labour Classic Revisited: Dunsmore Clarkson, Labour and Nationalism (1925);
Order Saothar 42

Saothar 41
Michael D. Higgins A Celebration of James Connolly & the Irish Citizens Army;
Róisín Higgins The 'Incorruptible Inheritors of 1916': The Battle for Ownership of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Easter Rising;
Seán Byers Belfast Trades Council, the Easter Rising & the Trade Union Politics of Commemoration, 1916-1966;
Eve Morrison Class, Gender & Occupation Among the Bureau of Military History Witnesses & Ernie O'Malley Interviewees Who Were 'Out' in 1916;
Mary McAuliffe From Inghinidhe na héireann to the Irish Citizen Army: Women, Radical Politics & the 1916 Rising;
Kate O'Malley 'Thrilled by the Irish Rising ... and the Irish Story Ever Since': Indian Nationalist Reactions to the Easter Rising;
Bruce Nelson 'The Greatest Epic of Modern History': Caribbean Radicals and the Irish Revolution;
Dónal Fallon Joseph Connolly (1893-1956): Firefighter & ICA Fighter;
John Dorney The Rabble & the Republic;
Pádraig Yeates Who Were Dublin's looters in 1916?' Crime & Society in Dublin During the Great War;
Stefan Berger & Stefan Braun International Socialist Responses to the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916 (Essay);
Adrian Grant C.D. Greaves, The Life & Times of James Connolly (Labour Classic);
Conor McNamara An Introduction to Manuscript Sources on the Irish Citizen Army (sources);
Edmund Penrose Objects in the ILHS Archives & Museum: Records & Uniforms of the Irish Citizen Army (sources);
Cécile Gordon The Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection: Evidence of a Revolution Through Ordinary Voices (sources);
Francis Devine 'A Great & Trusted Custodian of Confidences' Betrayed? Winifred Carney's Military Service Pension Application (sources);
Peter Rigney The Rising & Railway Workers (sources);
Order Saothar 41

Past News & Events

A Red Flag Flying

“And a Red Flag Flying....

Black Pig's Dyke Theatre Company present a new play by Brian Kenny and Aidan McQuillan at The Garage Theatre, Monaghan on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th January 2019 at 8pm, and at the Iontas Theatre, Castleblayney on Thursday 17th and Saturday 19th January 2019 at 8pm.

Details here

Tesco Strike

Food for Thought

Tesco workers are to hold pre-Christmas strikes at two stores in Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon, which may lead to a wider strike across the firm.


Tesco Strike

Centenary of William Walker 1870-1918 Belfast Union; Labour Unionism & Socialism

The Irish Labour History Society and the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions are jointly organising a conference in the MAC in Belfast the weekend of Friday 19th/Saturday 20th October 2018. The conference will see a number of historical talks including Michael Mecham, Emmet O'Connor, Myrtle Hill and Seán Byers. A new collection of essays on William Walker will also be launched on the Friday evening.

Full programme here


The Spirit of Mother Jones Annual Festival 2018

Shandon, Cork

Wednesday 1st to Saturday 4th August
A festival and summer school dedicated to the memory of Mary Harris/Mother Jones and to inspirational people everywhere who fight for social justice.

Programme here.

James Connolly 150th Anniversary

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of James Connolly

The SIPTU Dublin District Council cordially invites you to: A night of celebrating James Connolly - the foremost thinker, writer and organiser in the history of trade unionism in Ireland.

The celebration will include:

An address by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Mícheál Mac Donncha.

The launch of 'Our Army': a People’s History of the Irish Citizen Army

A series of short documentary films, based around the SIPTU Dublin District Council Irish Citizen Army Community Plaques Project in 2016.

A Hooley for James - an evening of songs and music with light refreshments in the Connolly Hall and Cois Life Bar.

Free entry. If you wish to join us please contact the SIPTU Dublin District Council at or 01 858 8235, to confirm attendance.
7.45pm, Tuesday, 5th June at Liberty Hall Theatre, Eden Quay, Dublin 1

Flyer Here

James Connolly 150th Anniversary
1918 Strike

Anti-Conscription Centenary Events

There are two more events to choose from, marking the Anti-Conscription Centenary, both on 23rd April. The Wicklow Constituency Council of the Labour Party, are sponsoring a public lecture to mark the Centenary. It will be delivered by Labour Historian and ILHS member Charlie Callan. The event will be chaired by Jack O Connor, Chairperson of the Labour Party. It's at 8pm in The Grand Hotel, Wicklow Town on Monday 23rd April. All IHLS members are welcome.
Also on Monday 23 April 2018 a History Ireland ‘Hedge School’ debate will take place in Liberty Hall, Dublin 1, on the subject of ‘The cause of Labour? The 1918 general strike against conscription. The Hedge School will take place at 7pm. Admission free, all welcome.

Details Here

AGM 2018 Final Notice

Anti-Conscription Campaign - 100 years on

Exactly 100 years after the Mansion House Conference against Conscription was convened by Lord Mayor Laurence O'Neill, the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha will host a range of speakers on various topics from the historical roles of those involved on that day in 1918 to the impact on modern day life.

Admission is free but advance registration is required to

in the Round Room at the Mansion House, Dublin on Wednesday, 18th April 2018 from 10.30am to 3pm.

Details Here

AGM 2018 Final Notice
Stephen McGonigle review & book launch

The launch of “Stephen McGonagle Ombudsman, Trade Unionist, Senator” by Owen McGonagle will take place on Wednesday 11th April, at 7.30pm in the City Hotel, Derry, and on Thursday 19th April at 6pm at Connolly Room, Cois Life Bar, Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin 1

Stephen McGonigle review & book launch details

AGM 2018 Final Notice


2.00pm: Agenda
3:40pm: Launch of Saothar 43 (co-edited by Sarah-Anne Buckley & Martin Maguire) Available for members to collect on the day.
3:50pm: The 2016 Lord Mayor’s Award to Dublin Workers will be donated to the ILHS Collections
4pm: Talk: William Walker Revisited: A Tribute to John W. Boyle By Dr Michael Mecham

on Saturday 24th March 2018, at 2pm, in ILHS Premises, Beggars Bush, Haddington Road, Dublin

Details Here

AGM 2018 Final Notice

The Irish Working Class: History, Politics, Literature

3.00-4.15pm: Perspectives On Irish Working-class Life
4.15-5pm: Poet Paula Meehan, Former Ireland Professor of Poetry – Readings and Conversation
5pm: Dr Michael Pierse, Queen’s University Belfast – Launch of A History of Irish Working-Class Writing

15 March: Falls Road Library, Falls Road, Belfast

Details Here

Alice Brady Commemoration 2017
Alice Brady Commemoration 2017

Join us for a talk by Nell Regan, music from Eric Fleming, history and the presentation of the Alicia Brady Award for Workers' Rights Activism.
11:15 am on Monday 18th of December

Wreath Laying at St. Mark's Church, Pearse Street, Dublin. Followed by Event in the Pearse Centre on Pearse Street.

Details here

Alice Brady Commemoration 2017
41st Countess Markievicz Memorial Lecture
41st Countess Markievicz Memorial Lecture

The Irish Association for Industrial Relations presents the 41st Countess Markievicz Memorial Lecture: 'Strategic Transition for Youth Labour in Europe: Flexibility, Families and Flights' by Professor Jacqueline O'Reilly on Friday, December 1, 2017, 13:30 – 14:30pm in Room 5050, Dublin Institute of Technology, Aungier Street, Dublin

Details here

Gilbert Library Day 2017
Local History Day at the Dublin City Library & Archive

The Dublin City Library & Archive’s Annual Local History Day showcases some of the excellent work being done by historians on the civic, social, and political history of Dublin. Sat 25 November, 9.15 am to 2.15 pm in the Conference Room, Dublin City Library & Archive, 138 - 144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

Details here

Gilbert Library Day 2017
Bray CTU 100th Anniversary event
Bray and District Council of Trade Unions 100th Anniversary Commemoration

Bray and District Council of Trade Unions in conjunction with Irish Labour History Society mark the Anniversary with a Seminar 'By Common Council and Common Action' A Celebration of Local Trade Union Figures, at 11am, Saturday, 4th November 2017 in the Town Hall, Bray
All are welcome

Details here

Conference 2017

Sat, October 21st,

ILHS Premises,

Beggars Bush, Dublin 4

Conference Programme and online payment details


Seminar On The Russian Revolution

As part of the Dublin Festival of History, the Irish Labour History Society have helped organise a seminar to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and to consider some of the impacts it had in Ireland particularly on the Irish labour movement. Seminar speakers include Donal Fallon, Conor Kostick, Emmet O'Connor & Kate O'Malley.

This event is taking place in Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin on Saturday 7th October, 2-4.30pm. No booking is required. All welcome on a first come, first served basis.

See also the Festival website

Newsletter Vol3 No1

Dublin Docklands and the Sinking of the S.S. Hare and S.S. Adela 1917

Commemorative Event. Saturday 30th September. Assemble 1pm at Sean O'Casey Bridge, Custom House Quay, Dublin

Details Here

Newsletter Vol3 No1
Limerick Soviet Meeting

Open Call: Your ideas for Limerick Soviet 100 Fest

The Limerick Soviet Centenary Committee is planning special celebrations - a special festival of artistic, cultural, historical and political events - for the 100th anniversary of the Limerick Soviet. With over eighteen months to go to the occasion now is a good time for all who see the value and the possibilities of the project to come together with any ideas you might have to flesh out the plans. The possibilities are endless so a brainstorming session might give us direction. The celebrations could be a major event in Limerick with contributions to its final shape coming from individuals or groups in their own areas of expertise.

We would like to invite you to a meeting at the GAFF, 36 Cecil St, Limerick for 6pm, Monday, September 25.

Details here

Glasnevin seminar-The death of political pluralism

Glasnevin Seminar: The death of political pluralism? Ireland after the Rising 1916-18

Talks by Brian Hanley - 'The layers of an onion': labour, class and post-Rising Ireland' and Sarah-Anne Buckley - 1916 to Irish women's suffrage: gender, class and the politics of motherhood feature in the Seminar: The death of political pluralism? Ireland after the Rising 1916-18 on Saturday 9th September 2017 at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Finglas Road, Dublin 11.

Booking Essential

Full Programme here

Glasnevin seminar-The death of political pluralism
29th Desmond Greaves School Prog

29th Desmond Greaves School 2017

This year’s Desmond Greaves School will open with a session marking the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution with talks from Michael Quinn -Irish and Soviet political and diplomatic exchanges 1919-1922, and Emmett O'Connor - Irish Labour and the October Revolution at 7.30pm, Friday 8th September in the Pearse Centre, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin. The full programme runs from the 8th to 10th September.

Full Programme here

Roger Casement Summer School

The Inaugural Roger Casement Summer School

in the dlr Lexicon, Moran Park, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th August
The inaugural Roger Casement Summer School will cover such themes as Roger Casement and his times and human rights issues with speakers from Ireland, The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Peru.

Poster (pdf 125KB)  Programme (pdf 762KB)

Roger Casement Summer School

The Spirit of Mother Jones Annual Festival 2017

Shandon, Cork

Tuesday 1st to Saturday 5th August
A festival and summer school dedicated to the memory of Mary Harris/Mother Jones and to inspirational people everywhere who fight for social justice.

Programme here.

Louth & Irish Revolution 1912-23 book launch

Markievicz-Partridge Seminar

The Markievicz-Partridge Seminar will take place in Ballaghaderreen and Gurteen on Friday 28th July, from 7pm and in Sligo on Saturday 29th July, from 10.30am.

Details here

Louth & Irish Revolution 1912-23 book launch
Historical Directory of Trade Unions in Ireland

May 25 - Burning of the Customs House 1921

Kilmainham Tales. Teo. invites you to the official launch of May 25 - Burning of the Custom House 1921 by Liz Gillis in ILHS, Beggar's Bush, Dublin on Wednesday 21st June at 6.30pm.

Flyer here

Louth & Irish Revolution 1912-23 book launch

Co Louth & Irish Revolution 1912-23 Book Launch

Members of the Irish Labour History Society are invited to attend the launch of this publication on County Louth and the Irish Revolution on 11th May, 7pm at Millmount Museum, Drogheda, Co Louth, and 18th May, 7pm at the Oriel Centre, Dundalk Gaol, Carrickmacross Rd, Dundalk, Co Louth. It is co-edited by Saothar editor Martin Maguire and includes a chapter on Labour in County Louth during this period written by Martin (it also includes a chapter by ILHS member Peter Rigney on the Railways in County Louth).

Details here

Louth & Irish Revolution 1912-23 book launch

1917: Centenary Reflections- Weekend Conference

The conference, which is on 5-6th May at Gleason’s Townhouse Hotel & The Abbey Hotel, Roscommon, will include a number of talks relating to labour history, including 'William Partridge, the Workers’ Republic, and 1916: the Ballaghaderreen connection' by Padraig Yeates, and 'Jim Larkin’s 1917 American Irish Worker' by James Curry on saturday morning.

Conference programme

From the Backbone Out
From the Backbone Out

Another chance to see 'From the Backbone Out' at Liberty Hall Theatre, Eden Quay, Dublin on Wednesday 3rd May and Thursday 4th May 2017 at 8 pm. Tickets only €10. The Play centres on Councillor Richard O'Carroll (1876-1916), his life and his achievements.

Details here

From the Backbone Out
Hugh Mahon Book Launch
Hugh Mahon Book Launch

The launch of 'Hugh Mahon, Patriot, Pressman, Politician Volume 1: the years from 1857 to 1901' by Jeff Kildea will take place at The Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, Dublin on Wednesday 26 April 2017 at 6 pm, also at Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly on Thursday 27 April 2017 at 8 pm, and New Ross Historical Society Boat Club, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co. Wexford on Friday 28 April 2017 at 8 pm.

Details here

WHAI 2017 Conference

Women's History Association of Ireland (WHAI) Annual Conference

The WHAI Annual Conference will take place at NUI Galway on 21-22 April, 2017 and is being organised in association with the Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour and Class. The theme of the conference is ‘Gender and class in Ireland’.

Follow this link to view the final conference programme, to register and for information on travel and accommodation options.

WHAI 2017 Conference

Farewell to Fidel Night

with Tony Oscar and the Cuban All Stars, Leo Rickard, Paul Kelly and Eric Fleming on Tuesday, 18th April at 8.00 pm in Liberty Hall Theatre, Eden Quay, Dublin.

Poster here

AGM 2017 Notice

Annual General Meeting 2017

The Annual General Meeting of the Irish Labour History Society will take place on Saturday 8th April 2017 at 2:30pm in the Irish Labour History Museum & Archives, Beggars Bush, Haddington Road, Dublin 4

Details Here

AGM 2017 Notice
Hugh Geraghty Cle Club 2017
Hugh Geraghty Memorial Talk

ILHS & Clé Club present The Hugh Geraghty Memorial Talk:
Railway Workers in Ireland Post World War 1 by Peter Rigney

8pm, Wed 15th March 2017 Cois Life Bar, Liberty Hall, Dublin
Details here

Outside Left Book
Launch of new book 'Outside Left' by Francis Devine

Thursday 26th January 2017 at 6.00pm Teacher's Club, Parnell Square, Dublin 1.

Details here

The publication will be available to purchase at

Outside Left Book
Review of Irish-Soviet Diplomatic and Friendship Relations 1917-1991
Review of Irish-Soviet Diplomatic and Friendship Relations 1917-1991

The new book by Michael Quinn was launched by Dr. Jack O'Connor, SIPTU General President on 8th December 2016 in Liberty Hall, Dublin. Below is a review by Jack McGinley. The publication can be purchased at

Book review here

Liberty Hall 1916
Leaving 1916
Entering 1917

ILHS Conference 2016

Sat, October 22nd,

ILHS Premises,

Beggars Bush, Dublin 4

Conference Programme and online payment details

Liberty Hall 1916
Derry Labour book
Derry Labour in the age of agitation, 1889 - 1923, Volume 2: Larkinism and syndicalism, 1907 - 23 by Dr Emmet O'Connor

Following on from volume 1 on new unionism and old (1889 - 1906), volume 2 reviews the impact of Larkinism and syndicalism on Derry. After impressive progress in the 19th century, Derry's industrial growth started to falter after 1904. Wages stagnated, prices rose relentlessly, and thousands of workers in the shirt-factories and on the docks grew restless. The city seemed ripe for one of the Larkinite revolts that shook Irish cities in the early 20th century ....
Details of the new publication here

Access to library and archives by appointment only:
Tel: 01 668 1071
Appointment Times:
10 am - 4 pm (Mon-Thu) 10 am - 1 pm (Fri)

Larkin Statue

Welcome to the Irish Labour History Society. The Society aims to preserve the records and reminiscences, written and oral, of the Irish working class and its organisations. Society membership is composed of individuals, labour-related organisations, academic institutions, libraries and archival bodies. The Society frequently organizes conferences and events and also issues publications on Irish labour, including its annual journal Saothar.

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