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James Larkin

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Dublin City Centre, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
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James Larkin was a dock worker and then trade union organiser in Belfast and Dublin. He was the founder of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. There is a monument to him on O'Connell street in Dublin.

James Larkin was born in Liverpool, England, on 21 January 1876, the second son of impoverished Irish parents.

Growing up in poverty, he received little formal education and began working in a variety of jobs while still a child. He became a full-time trade union organiser in 1905.

Larkin moved to Belfast in 1907 and founded the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, the Irish Labour Party, and later the Workers' Union of Ireland. Perhaps best known for his role in the 1913 Dublin Lockout, 'Big Jim' continues to occupy a significant place in Dublin's collective memory.

Always a maverick, an orator rather than a committee man, Larkin's achievement is that he brought the rights of workers onto a political agenda preoccupied with national, religious and cultural concerns. He died in 1947 and is buried in Glasnevin.

There is a monument to him on O'Connell street.