Dún Laoghaire commemorates 1913


On the weekend of 22nd – 25th August Dún Laoghaire will host a series of events to mark the centenary of the 1913 Lockout. 

The weekend will kick off with the launch of an exhibition ‘Dún Laoghaire & The 1913 Lockout’ and a Commemorative Book.  The exhibition and book will be launched by Myles Dungan, historian and broadcaster with readings by Martina Devlin, author and journalist.  This launch is on Thursday 22nd August at 6:30p.m. in the National Maritime Museum (Moran Park), and the exhibition will run at this venue until 18th January 2014 – the same period as the 1913 Lockout.  The Commemorative Book will feature contributions by Padraig Yeates, Joe Duffy, Myles Dungan, Martina Devlin, May Moran and Mike Lee and will be available for sale at the launch and at all the weekend events for €10.

On Friday evening, 23rd August, a 2-hour walking Tour of Dún Laoghaire’s historic places including significant locations of the lockout will be led by historian and author Paul O’Brien, leaving from the Dún Laoghaire Club, Eblana Ave. at 7:00p.m.

Saturday’s events kick off with the unveiling of a 1913 Centenary Plaque by Joe Duffy, broadcaster.  The plaque will commemorate Dún Laoghaire’s involvement in the events of the 1913 lockout – specifically through remembering 4 significant individuals/events: James Byrne, Edward Lee, Patrick Moran and Dora Montefiorre and the 1913 children (see info. below).

Saturday afternoon sees a round table discussion hosted by History Ireland in the Assembly Rooms in the Town Hall, Marine Road.  Padraig Yeates, Eamon McCann, Brian Hanley, Ann Matthews will participate in a discussion entitled ‘Looking At The Lockout’, chaired by Tommy Graham of History Ireland. (see http://www.historyireland.com/hedge-schools/)

Saturday’s events will be rounded off with an evening of music and readings with ‘Bread and Roses’ and special guests, from 8:00p.m. at the Dún Laoghaire club, Eblana Ave.  Tickets for this event (€10, €5concession) are available from the Dún Laoghaire club or from Costello Jewellers 1 Northumberland Ave.

The weekend’s events will be rounded off with a series of lectures organised in conjunction with the Maritime Institute of Ireland Lectures Officer Barney Yourell.  Speakers will include Peter Pearson (Historian, Author and Artist), Colin Whitson, (National College Ireland), Mary Muldowney (Social Historian), Joe Mooney (East Wall History Group), Padraig Yeates (Historian and Author of many books including “Lockout Dublin 1913”), May Moran (Author and niece of Patrick Moran), Mike Lee, (Great Grandson of Edward Lee) and Francis Devine (Trade Unionist, Historian and Singer).  These lectures will be held in the Dún Laoghaire Club where snacks will be available during the day and where the bar will be open following the lectures.

Full details of all the weekend’s events can be found on the Dun Laoghaire 1913 Commemoration Event facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/events/457680614322346/

and a PDF of the brochure for the weekend can be accessed at http://dunlaoghairecounty.ie/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2157&p=113795&hilit=1913#p113548

To contact the Dún Laoghaire 1913 Commemoration Committee, email dunlaoghaire1913@gmail.com

All events are open to all members of the public.

Dún Laoghaire’s involvement in the 1913 Lockout:


James Byrne from 5 Clarence Street, Dún Laoghaire, was a 38 year old father of six in 1913. He was Secretary of the Dún Laoghaire ITGWU branch and also Secretary of the Bray and Dún Laoghaire Trades Council. He was arrested on October 20th 1913 by the Dublin Metropolitan Police and charged with intimidating a tram worker. Refused bail he ended up in Mountjoy Prison where he went on a hunger and thirst strike. Eventually the British authorities gave in and he was granted bail but died of pneumonia in Monkstown Hospital weeks after he was first arrested. “He had been thrown into a cold, damp, mouldy cell,…, so contemptuous had been of those who put him there that he had refused food and drink” said James Connolly in his graveside oration. He is buried in Deansgrange Cemetry near the Republican Plot.


The Dublin Lockout of 1913 is often portrayed in black and white terms as a struggle between the forces of capitalism and socialism.  You were either on the side of the workers looking for trade union recognition or you were on the side of business and profit. However as with most things, it was not that simple. This is the story of one employer, Edward Lee, the owner of a chain of drapery stores in Bray, Dún Laoghaire, Rathmines and Dublin and a man of high principle, who disagreed with the tactics of the employers and was prepared to stand up and say so. Breaking ranks with his fellow employers, he felt that “the employers should withdraw the pledge requiring their employees to cease to belong to the Transport Workers’ Union. To my way of thinking such a pledge is an unfair interference with the personal liberty of the worker”.


A Roscommon man, he lived in Dún Laoghaire for the last five years of his short life. In 1961 he was honoured for his contribution to Dún Laoghaire when the Harbour House and grounds were renamed Moran House and Moran Park. In 1913 he was involved in the Lockout in Dublin City when he worked in Doyle’s Corner, Phibsboro. He participated in the 1916 Rising and was interned in Knutsford and Frongoch. On his release he lived and worked in Dún Laoghaire (in Lynch and O’Briens, grocery and pub, where Shaws Department Store is now located). He was a founder member of the Irish National Union of Vintners and Grocers (now MANDATE ) Trade Union, was chairman of the Dún Laoghaire Branch, its delegate to the Bray and District Trades Union Council and its National President at the time of his death. He was arrested in 1920 for attempting to stop deliveries of beer to Brady’s Pub at 17 Upper George’s Street, Dún Laoghaire (now Scotts) during a strike. He was executed in 1921 for his alleged involvement in an incident in Mount Street on Bloody Sunday, November 21st 1921. He was a member of the Dún Laoghaire Club, where many of this year’s 1913 Centenary events will be hosted.


During the 1913 LOCKOUT there was no system of social welfare so the children of the locked out workers were starving. In October 1913, Dora Montefiorre, a British socialist, a suffragist and member of the Jewish community, proposed bringing the starving children from Dublin to trade unionists’ homes in Britain where they could be properly looked after. Archbishop of Dublin, William Joseph Walsh, wrote a public letter condemning the plan. His “Save the Kiddies Campaign” began. The clergy in Westland Row acted unsuccessfully to stop the children from travelling but when the children arrived at the Carlisle Pier in Dún Laoghaire they were prevented from boarding the ship by police and a mob lead by a Fr. Flavin. Those involved in organising the children were arrested and charged with kidnapping but the charges were later dropped. Fr. Flavin later organised a trade union in Dún Laoghaire as an alternative to the ITGWU. His alternative union existed until the Lockout was “safely out of the way”.

WORDS: by Dún Laoghaire 1913 Commemoration Committee