Locked Out: A Century of Irish Working-Class Life


David Convery (Ed.)

Release to coincide with the commemoration of the centenary anniversary of the 1913 Lockout in Dublin. The book focuses on the actual lives of the Irish working class, often clouded by the smoke of trade unions and nationalism. The book offers new perspectives on the Dublin Lockout, women’s history in Ireland, and industrial disputes across the island during the 20th century.


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The study of an independent Irish working-class has been neglected at large by a focus on nationalism in politics, culture and wider society. As highlighted throughout this pioneering book, this neglect has stretched at times to an actual denial of the existence of an Irish working class. That class, rather than ethnicity, religion, or the idea of national identity could have a role to play in politics and cultural production is an alien one to mainstream Irish historical debate. The working class has been locked out of Irish history.

This ground-breaking book, written to commemorate the centenary of the 1913 Dublin Lockout and to advance Irish labour history in new and innovative ways, offers fresh perspectives from a new generation of Irish historians. Looking at the NSPCC and the industrial school system, the Dublin Lockout of 1913 itself, discussions of class, status and gender among Cork textile workers and the infamous ‘Animal Gang’ of 1930s tenement Dublin, to name but a few; this book truly digs deep to reveal the richness and diversity of the lives and culture of working-class people over the past century.

Table of Contents

1. ‘Your only God is profit’: Irish class relations and the 1913 Lockout ~ Conor McCabe (UCD)
2. Uniting the Working Class: History, Memory and 1913 ~ David Convery
3. Andrew Patrick Wilson and the Irish Worker, 1912-13 ~ James Curry (NUIG)
4. ‘Real Irish Patriots would scorn to recognise the likes of you’: Larkin and Irish-America ~ Alan J.M. Noonan
5. Workers show their strength – the 1918 Conscription Crisis ~ Fiona Devoy McAuliffe
6. Newsboys and the ‘Animal Gang’ in 1930s Dublin ~ Donal Fallon
7. ‘The problem is one not of criminal tendencies, but of poverty’: the NSPCC, John Byrne and the Industrial School System in Ireland ~ Sarah-Anne Buckley (NUIG)
8. Pro-Hitler or anti-management? War on the industrial front, Belfast, October 1942 ~ Christopher J.V. Loughlin
9. ‘The Brightest Couple of Hours’: The Factory, Inter-House, Inter-Firm and Pubs Leagues of Ireland, 1922-73 ~ David Toms (UCC)
10. ‘I never would return again to plough the rocks of Bawn’: Irishmen in Post-War Britain ~ Sara Goek (UCC)
11. ‘As if you were something under their shoe’: Class, Gender and Status among Cork Textile Workers, 1930-1970 ~ Liam Cullinane (UCC)
12. From Yeatsian nightmares to Tallafornian dreams: Reflections on classism and culture in ‘classless’ Ireland ~ Michael Pierse (QUB)

About the Editor

David Convery’s work focuses on the history, politics and memory of twentieth-century Irish working-class life. His PhD thesis was titled ‘Brigadistas: The History and Memory of Irish Anti-Fascists in the Spanish Civil War’.