James Connolly


Home Thrusts


Irish Worker, 6 December 1913.
Recently republished in Red Banner, No.4 (PO Box 6587, Dublin 6).
Transcription: Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh.
HTML Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Here are some questions that need answering:–

I. Will the Employers’ Committee consent to take a ballot of their members upon the question of the acceptance or rejection of the workers’ offer to accept Sir George Askwith’s Report [1] as a basis for discussion?

II. Would the present Employers’ Executive be re-elected if a ballot of the members was taken?

III. How long is it since a vote of the employers was taken in connection with the present dispute?

IV. Is it a fact that the present Chairman of the Employers’ Executive desires to prolong the dispute for political reasons, as he is a strong Unionist, and hopes to injure Home Rule by discrediting the Government?

V. Is it a fact, as commonly stated in Dublin, that a majority of the employers wish to settle, but are afraid of incurring the enmity of the financial power of the small clique who they in a foolish moment made their leaders?

The following letter from one of the children deported [2] is worth reading, and we, therefore, reproduce it just as it was written, without making any kind of alteration in the spelling or punctuation:–

Drimscott, Beaufort Drive,
Wallasey, Cheshire.

MY DEAR MOTHER, – Just a few lines to tell you that I received your kind and welcome letter. I was glad to find you all well. I want to tell you we all go to Mass every Sunday, and Sunday school. We are all made say our prayers every morning and night, the lady of the house comes round to all the beds and says have all of you said your prayers? if we have not said them she makes us say them at once. Mr Larkin had a big meeting in Liverpool on Monday night. Connolly spoke Larkin also spoke it was a shilling to get in. I was at it selling post cards of the Dublin children. I sold a lot. Connolly kissed us all and gave us all money. I was talking to Mr and Mrs Boares they told that they were talking to you. Mr Larkin is coming to see us next week, he gone to London this morning. Francis Kathleen like school very well. My birthday is on next Wednesday. I am 15 years of age. Francis grew 3 inches since she came over here. Is there any chance of the strike getting settled? Father better not be about Mountjoy or he will get pulled in.

With love from your loving son,
Paddy. God bless you all, good bye.

Larkin’s meeting in Liverpool was a great success, in spite of the fact that a leaflet was issued calling upon the seamen and firemen to prevent him speaking until he apologised for his criticism of Havelock Wilson [3] – a humorous idea. Another leaflet was also issued calling for a rally of the Orangemen against the meeting. It was hoped, no doubt, that such tactics would frighten the timid away; but the hall was crowded, nevertheless.

Speaking of the Seamen’s and Firemen’s Union, it is worth fixing this fact – that there are certain boats belonging to the Head Line of steamers being worked at present in Dublin by scab labourers from the Federation ship. [4] As these boats were discharged the members of the Seamen’s and Firemen’s Union desired to know their position in the event of their resolving to stand by ordinary Trade Union principles and refusing to work a boat that had been discharged by the lowest form of professional scab labour. Accordingly they wired to Maritime Hall, London, asking for instructions, and received back a telegram, signed by Father Hopkins, giving direct instructions to them to sign on in the scab ships, and thus complete the work the professional strike-breakers had begun. But, being men, they refused.




1. Askwith headed the Board of Trade inquiry into the lockout, which proposed that the workers be reinstated, that the employers’ anti-union pledge be withdrawn, and that the union renounce the sympathetic strike for two years.

2. That is, sent to the homes of sympathisers in England to be looked after during the lockout. Catholic activists alleged that the children’s faith was being endangered, and physically prevented all but a few being sent.

3. Leader of the National Seamen’s and Firemen’s Union.

4. The Shipping Federation was supplying men to break the strike.


Last updated on 6.10.2003