James Larkin was born in January 1876. He is a native of Liverpool, England. He was brought up in the slums of Liverpool where there was little regarding education. To fend for his family and put food on the table, he worked some manual jobs. He landed a job as the controller of the Liverpool docks. James became an activist for the Irish laborers. He established the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union which later grew to be the largest union in all of Ireland. He then joined the National Union of Dock Laborers in 1905 where he became a trade union organizer.
James Larkin was skilled in militant strike methods which he meant to use in the trade union. Due to this, he was relocated to Dublin in 1907. This pushed him to create the Irish Transport and General Worker’ Association. He established the union to fight for the welfare of all Irish industrial workers under one banner.
James Larkin partnered with James Connolly to establish the Irish Labor Party in 1912. He led multiple strikes. In 1913, Dublin Lockout where workers boycotted work for over seven months. This was because unskilled workers in Dunlin had few rights. This was a fight that the workers emerged victoriously. James Larkin’s leadership skill earned him the respect of on Constance Markevicz who saw the potential for greatness in the lad. The union never used violence in their strikes. He knew that he could not grow a mass trade union by destroying the organizations where his union members worked. Although the Irish press was against his work, he had support from many people including Patrick Pearse, William Butler Yeats among others.
James Larkin led massive anti-war protests in Dublin on the onset of World War 1. He was falsely accused of perpetrating criminal activities and anarchy in 1920. This managed to get him deported back to his home country where he settled down and fostered a family. James Larkin died of natural causes on January 30, 1947.