A six part documentary series narrating the events that led to the landmark labour versus capital conflict in Dublin in 1913. This series that was aired on RTÉ Radio 1 during August and September, explored the leaders on both sides and questioned the legacy of Lockout 1913 for Ireland today.
Citizens: Lockout 1913-2013 brings to life a city where 100,000 people lived in one bedroom tenements and a conflict dominated by big personalities like union leader Jim Larkin and industrialist William Martin Murphy. But while Larkin’s statue dominates O’Connell Street today, the lockout was a crushing defeat for the city’s workers and in 1914 it was Murphy not Larkin who was honoured. Historian Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD, says with the Lockout ‘we tend to read history backwards’ and see 1913 through the prism of 1916. This series starts at 1900 with the visit of Queen Victoria to Dublin and the emerging labour, nationalist and suffrage movements. Its key characters are not just Larkin and Martin Murphy, but socialist James Connolly and women activists in the Women’s Workers Union including Larkin’s sister Delia and Constance Markievicz.
‘This was one where it was workers on one side and employers on the other’ says Lockout historian Padraig Yeates. ‘If Larkin’s achievement was to unite workers for better conditions, Murphy’s achievement was to unite employers, both catholic and protestant. It was a battle of personalities’.
The series features leading historians on the period including Mary Daly, James Curry, Emmet O’Connor, Felix Larkin, Leeann Lane, Lauren Arrington as well as Diarmaid Ferriter and Padraig Yeates and includes contributions from the descendants of Connolly, Larkin, Martin Murphy and Markievicz as well as dramatic readings by actors Barry McGovern, Donna Dent, Stephen Murray, Ronnie McCann and playwright Peter Sheridan. Contemporary leaders also share their views about the legacy of the Lockout including Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn, IBEC CEO Danny McCoy, General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions David Begg, Former Fine Gael cabinet Minister Gemma Hussey, SIPTU Vice-President Patricia King and Senator Ivana Bacik.
Across August there was three live discussions on the Today with Myles Dungan programme from 10am on RTÉ Radio 1 which featured some of our key historians and authors like historians Mary Daly, Ann Matthews and author Ciaran Wallace and the descendents of the key characters from the period. The live features included short segments of the documentary series also.
Citizens: Lockout 1913-2013 is an Athena Media production for RTÉ Radio 1 made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
To listen back to episodes please see our RSS feed here.
Find it along with our other podcasts on iTunes here.
There is also now additional content online, click here to access it.