Dublin 1913 was a divided city. For the poor, life in the worst slums in Northern Europe was a daily grind of toil and want, while the well-off lived in comfort and privilege. Social inequality sparked a bitter conflict between employers and the labour movement, led by Jim Larkin.
In the centenary year of the Dublin Lockout, a new documentary from the RTÉ TV Documentary Unit, looks at the dispute from the perspective of families on both sides – tram drivers and tenement residents, employers and strike-breakers. Using family history, rare photographs and contemporary newspaper accounts, My Lockout is a personal and revealing insight into the most infamous labour dispute in Irish History.
The documentary features five families closely involved on both sides the lockout;
Miriam Larkin is the great grand-daughter of Big Jim. Miriam looks at the impact of the lockout on Larkin’s wife Elizabeth and their children.
Gerry Murphy questions the portrayal of his great grand-father William Martin Murphy as the chief villain of the Lockout.
The documentary also features the descendents of tram workers, strikers and scabs.
Tom Stokes is the grandson of John Stokes a tram driver who abandoned his tram on the first day of the strike in August 1913.
Brendan Murphy is the grand nephew of Thomas Harten, a strike breaker or “scab” from Co. Meath, who was savagely attacked and killed in Dublin during the Lockout.
Janine Kyle follows the story Alice Brady, who was fifteen and locked out of her factory job when she was shot by a “scab” delivering coal on Pearse Street in Dublin.