Jim Larkin was a man of Irish descent who grew up in the slums of Liverpool, England after being born January 28, 1874. He came from a very poor family and received little to no education as a child. In order to help support the family he was sent to work at a very early age.
After a time he ended up working on the docks of Liverpool where he joined the National Union of Dock Labourers. As a socialist he became a very big believer of unions and tried to advance the cause of workers for the rest of his life. Read more: James Larkin | Biography
It was in 1907 after being transferred to Dublin, Ireland that he formed his own union. This union, named the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, sought to unite all workers under one banner whether they were skilled or unskilled labor.
After the union was formed he set about calling for general work strikes quite often. The biggest of these occurred in 1913 when 100,000 workers in Ireland went on strike for almost eight months. The end result of this strike was their winning fair employment as a right.
James Larkin became an anti-war activist when World War 1 started. He led demonstrations in Dublin and eventually journeyed to America in order to raise funds that he would use against the British.
Before long he was arrested for being a communist and causing criminal anarchy. He spent three years in jail before being deported back to Ireland. Once back in Dublin he formed another union, Workers’ Union of Ireland.
When he was 29 years old James Larkin married Elizabeth Brown, They ended up having four children, all sons, born to them over the years. His wife died in 1945 and it appears likely he knew he wouldn’t live for that much longer.
This turned out to be quite true because he died on January 30, 1947. This occurred because while supervising construction on his union’s halls he fell through the floorboards. He was sent to Meath Hospital where he survived for about month and a half before finally drawing his last breath.