Speech to the James Larkin 75th Anniversary Commemoration
On Sunday, 30th January, I was honoured to speak at a commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the death of trade union leader and Labour Party founder Jim Larkin in Glasnevin Cemetery.
As the Labour Party spokesperson on workers’ rights, a proud SIPTU member and a socialist, it was a great privilege for me to commemorate Larkin. He was a man whose dynamism and commitment launched both my party and my union, and who helped shape the course of Irish history.
Thanks to the Labour Party and Labour Trade Unionists for organising the event, to Jack O'Connor and Des Geraghty who followed in Big Jim's footsteps as the leader of his union, and to all the members of the Larkin family.
All of us present at the commemoration were also standing in solidarity with the people of Derry as they remembered their dead and the devastating events at their peaceful protest 50 years ago on Bloody Sunday.
The absolute necessity for resolution of conflict on the basis of consent was a concept that Jim Larkin subscribed to his whole life.
And on a day when we recalled the peaceful passing of Jim Larkin and marked the violent and utterly needless death and injury of so many in Derry, it behoves us all to think seriously about what it will take to bring about that consent in order to agree the future of our island.