Irish Trade Union Congress

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The Irish Trade Union Congress (ITUC) was a union federation covering the island of Ireland.

Until 1894, representatives of Irish trade unions attended the British Trades Union Congress. However, many felt that they had little impact on the British body, and decided to form their own federation. This met for the first time in 1894. Although some Irish delegates continued to attend the British TUC, their decision to bar representatives of trades councils from 1895 increased dissatisfaction, and the ITUC soon became the leading Irish union federation.[1][2] In 1900, the British TUC asked the ITUC to amalgamate with it, but this request was rejected.[3]

In 1912, the ITUC established a political arm, becoming known as the Irish Labour Party and Trade Union Congress (or Irish Trade Union Congress and Labour Party). The political wing evolved into the Labour Party. Despite the Partition of Ireland, the ITUC continued to organise throughout the island, but tensions arose between the unions based in Britain and with members in both Britain and Ireland, and the Irish-based unions. In 1936, the organisation formed a commission to examine the issue. William X. O'Brien put in a proposal to form ten industrial groupings with no overlaps to negotiate on behalf of workers - in effect, this would have passed existing union activities to ten industrial unions. This and three other proposals were discussed at the 1939 conference, but O'Brien and his supporters walked out and formed the Advisory Council of Irish Unions. This comprised eighteen unions based in Ireland, and accounted for about half the ITUC membership.[3]

The Advisory Council cut ties with the ITUC in 1945 and formed the Congress of Irish Unions.[3] After long negotiations, the two organisations reunited in 1959 to form the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.[4]

Secretaries[edit]

1884: John Simmons
1899: Hugh McManus
1900: E. L. Richardson
1910: P. T. Daly
1918: William X. O'Brien
1920: Thomas Johnson
1928: Eamonn Lynch
1941: Cathal O'Shannon
1945: Thomas Johnson
1945: Ruaidhri Roberts

Presidents[edit]

Year Name Union
1894 Thomas O'Connell Dublin Trades Council
1895 J. H. Jolly Cork Trades Council
1896 James D'Alton Limerick Trades Council
1897 P. J. Leo Waterford Trades Council
1898 Richard Wortley Belfast Trades Council
1899 James McCarron Amalgamated Society of Tailors
1900 George Leahy National Association of Operative Plasterers
1901 Alexander Bowman Municipal Employees' Association
1902 William Cave Cork Trades Council
1903 Walter Hudson Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants
1904 William Walker Belfast Trades Council
1905 James Chambers Dublin Saddlers' Society
1906 Stephen Dineen Irish National Federal Union of Bakers
1907 James McCarron Amalgamated Society of Tailors
1908 John Murphy Belfast Trades Council
1909 Michael J. Egan Cork Trades Council
1910 James McCarron Amalgamated Society of Tailors
1911 David Robb Campbell National Union of Life Assurance Agents
1912 Michael O'Lehane Drapers' Assistants' Association
1913 William X. O'Brien Irish Transport and General Workers' Union
1914 James Larkin Irish Transport and General Workers' Union
1916 Thomas Johnson National Amalgamated Union of Shop Assistants, Warehousemen and Clerks
1917 Thomas MacPartlin Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners
1918 William X. O'Brien Irish Transport and General Workers' Union
1919 Thomas Cassidy Typographical Society
1920 Thomas Farren Stonecutters' Union of Ireland
1921 Thomas Foran Irish Transport and General Workers' Union
1922 Cathal O'Shannon Irish Transport and General Workers' Union
1923 Luke Duffy Irish Union of Distributive Workers and Clerks
1925 William X. O'Brien Irish Transport and General Workers' Union
1926 Denis Cullen Irish Bakers' Amalgamated Union
1927 J. T. O'Farrell Railway Clerks' Association
1928 William McMullen Irish Transport and General Workers' Union
1929 Luke Duffy Irish Union of Distributive Workers and Clerks
1930 Thomas J. O'Connell Irish National Teachers' Organisation
1931 Denis Cullen Irish Bakers' Amalgamated Union
1932 Louie Bennett Irish Women Workers' Union
1933 Seán Campbell Dublin Typographical Provident Society
1934 Michael Duffy Irish Transport and General Workers' Union
1935 P. J. Cairns Post Office Workers Union
1936 Michael Drumgoole Irish Union of Distributive Workers and Clerks
1937 Helena Moloney Irish Women Workers' Union
1938 Jeremiah Hurley Irish National Teachers' Organisation
1939 P. T. Daly Irish Transport and General Workers' Union
1940 Sam Kyle Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union
1941 William X. O'Brien Irish Transport and General Workers' Union
1942 Michael Colgan Irish Bookbinders and Allied Trades Union
1943 Michael Keyes National Union of Railwaymen
1944 Robert Getgood Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union
1945 Gilbert Lynch Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union
1947 John Swift Irish Bakers', Confectioners' and Allied Workers' Amalgamated Union
1948 Louie Bennett Irish Women Workers' Union
1949 James Larkin, Jnr Workers' Union of Ireland
1950 Sam Kyle Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union
1951 Helen Chenevix Irish Women Workers' Union
1952 James Larkin, Jnr Workers' Union of Ireland
1953 Con Connolly Cork Workers' Council
1954 John McAteer National Union of Printing, Bookbinding and Paper Workers
1955 Robert Smith Plumbing Trades Union
1956 J. Harold Binks Clerical and Administrative Workers Union
1957 Norman Kennedy Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union
1958 Jack Macgougan National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers
1959 Walter Carpenter Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers

Source: Donal Nevin et al., Trade Union Century, p. 437

References[edit]

  1. ^ Trade Union: Ireland, EuroFound
  2. ^ Terence Bowman, People's champion: the life of Alexander Bowman, pioneer of Labour politics, p.148
  3. ^ a b c Joan Campbell, European labor unions, p.250
  4. ^ A Short History of Congress, Irish Congress of Trade Unions