Emmet O'Connor will deliver a talk at the Tower Museum in Derry on May 4, focussed on the Labour movement in Derry from 1889-1923, with a specific focus on James McCarron and Peadar O'Donnell.

Between 1889 and 1923, Irish Labour was rocked by three waves of trade union militancy. Derry was then at the height of its prosperity as the leading centre of shirt-making in the UK, with significant employment also in distilling and shipbuilding.

It also had an established and conservative trade union movement, personified by one of the leading figures in the Amalgamated Society of Tailors and the Irish Trades Union Congress, Alderman James McCarron. McCarron would meet a tragic fate as one of the last victims of the First World War.

The political challenges brought by the war were exemplified by Peadar O’Donnell of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. O’Donnell confronted Derry employers and trades council leaders alike with the socialist republicanism of James Connolly.

Long after he left the city for a career as an outstanding agitator and radical writer, he would be variously vilified as the man who blazed a trail of destruction in Derry and remembered as one of its great Labour champions. 

The talk begins at 7pm and entry is free. 


Event Details


Tower Museum
Union Hall Place
BT48 6LU


Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 19:00

Centenary Event

Tickets and further information

Free entry