The O’Brien Press are celebrating it’s latest publication “Big Jim: Jim Larkin and the 1913 Lockout”, a book launch in graphic form, which retells the tale of the union leader’s role in the Dublin Lockout, one of the greatest labor disputes in Irish history.

The O’Brien Press has previously published graphic novels about the Easter Rising and the War for Independence.

Actor Ger O’Leary will give a performance of one of Larkin’s speeches at the launch. Professional Irish comic book artist Stephen Mooney, who created books “Angel” and “Half Past Danger” and Donal Fallon who writes for the Dublin history blog “Come here to me!” will both speak at the event.

“Come here to me!”
gave a taste of one of Larkin’s speeches. Fallon quoted some of Larkin’s speech before a banned demonstration in O’Connell Street in August of 1913.

“People make kings and they can unmake them; but what has the King of England to do with stopping a meeting in Dublin? If they like to stop the meeting at the order of Mr. Murphy, Mr. Wm. Murphy will take the responsibility; and, as I have previously told you, for every man that falls on our side two will fall on the other.

“We have a perfect right to meet in O’Connell Street. We are going to meet in O’Connell Street, and if the police or soldiers are going to stop or try to stop us, let them take the responsibility. If they want a revolution, well then, God be with them.”

The book launch is Thursday, April 25 at the Vintage Room of the Workman’s Club in Wellington Quay. Doors open at 6:00pm and the launch is 6:30-8:30. Entry is free. Rory McConville and Paddy Lynch of the book’s creative team will talk and sign copies of the book.

2013 marks the centenary of the Dublin Lockout. On August 26, 1913 Larkin led his Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union in a strike against William Martin Murphy, who owned the Dublin United Tramway Company as well as the city’s biggest newspaper and hotel and department store. Murphy responded to the strike by locking out the workers. The strike involved 20,000 employees and their 80,000 dependents and featured several violent clashes between workers and police. The strike ended in January of 1914 and failed to win better terms for workers, although the Lockout did demonstrate the potential of a mobilized workforce.

“Big Jim: Jim Larkin and the 1913 Lockout” is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released on May 28, 2013.