What was the 1913 Dublin Lockout


1913 Lockout banner outside the Metropole Hotel now ClearysThe 1913 lockout occurred when the Dublin bosses under William Martin Murphy tried to destroy the syndicalist ITGUW by locking out all workers who refused to resign from the union.

Some 20,000 workers were locked out by 300 employers over the period from 26 August 1913 to 18 January 1914.  Conditions for the Dublin working class at the time were terrible, the infant mortality rate was 142 per thousand live births, by 2013 it had dropped to 3 per 1000.

There was considerable police violence during the Lockout, with two workers being killed when police attacked strikers in August 1913.  This and other violent incidents led to the formation of the Irish Citizen Army, initially under Captain Jack White who would later become an anarchist.

By the new year the strikers were starving and unions in Britain had rejected the appeal for solidarity strikes resulting in defeat as most workers returned to work and signed the pledge not to join the union.  Many ITGWU members however discovered they were blacklisted and so unable to fund work.  A large proportion of them had no choice but to join the British army where many died in World War One, in particular at Gallipoili.

You'll find out more about the 1913 Lockout and its legacy at our 1913 tag.