Archives Museum Books Newspapers Periodicals Pamphlets
Society History Labour History Irish History of Trade Unions Biographies 1913 Lockout
Saothar Other Society Publications
Contact Us Join Committee Members
Conference 2015 Clusky Book Launch Newsletters

Upcoming Events

Newsletter Vol1 No1
Jim Larkin and World War I
A Talk by Dr. Emmet O'Connor

Newry City Library
Thursday 10 December 6:30 - 7:30

Newsletter Vol1 No1
Our lives should not be sweated:
Belfast Women Workers, 1910-1915
A talk by Theresa Moriarty

Linen Hall Library, Belfast
Saturday 12 December 1:30pm There will be tea/coffee on arrival.

Theresa will focus on Belfast trade union organiser Mary Galway, who was appointed General Secretary of the Irish Textile Operatives' Union in 1897.

Irish History of Trade Unions

The history of Irish trade unions stretches back into the eighteenth century, when local societies were established in the cities to represent craftsmen such as bricklayers, butchers and printers. From about 1889 a new type of union began to emerge in Ireland, aimed at organising the mass of skilled workers. Separate unions covering dockers, railwaymen and general workers were established in these years.

The Irish Trade Union Congress (ITUC) was founded in 1894. Its stated aim was to act as the collective voice of organised Irish labour. New unions began to establish themselves from 1907, with the arrival in Ireland of James Larkin as an organizer for the British dockers' union. Two years later he established the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU).

Please click on the links below for more on the following Irish Trade unions:

Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) (49 KB pdf)

Irish Bank Officials' Association (IBOA) 90 Years of Progress (213 KB pdf)

Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) (60 KB pdf)

Irish National Teachers Association (INTO) (47 KB pdf)

National Union of Journalists (NUJ) (50 KB pdf)

Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (49 KB pdf)

See also: > Labour History

Access to library and archives by appointment only:
Tel: 01 668 1071
Email: info@

Appointment Times:
10 am - 4.30 pm (Mon-Thu) 10 am - 1 pm (Fri)

Larkin Statue

Welcome to the Irish Labour History Society. The Society aims to preserve the records and reminiscences, written and oral, of the Irish working class and its organisations. Society membership is composed of individuals, labour-related organisations, academic institutions, libraries and archival bodies. The Society frequently organizes conferences and events and also issues publications on Irish labour, including its annual journal Saothar.

The Working Class Movement Library (UK) is being featured as a website of interest with a comprehensive links section. Check it out here

Copyright Notice:
All content on this site is fully copyrighted by the creator and/or author/contributor. It may not be linked to, nor reproduced on, another site without specific permission from the Irish Labour History Society and/or their authors/contributors. Although public information is not of itself copyrightable, the format in which it is presented, the notes and comments, etc., are. It is however permissible to print or save the files to a personal computer for personal use only. Use of this site denotes acceptance of these terms.