Galway to mark a century of trade unionism in the city

In June 1911 the Irish Trade Union Congress held a meeting in the Town Hall and from that meeting came the establishment of the Galway United Trades & Labour Council.

Today the organisation is known as the Galway Council of Trade Unions and it will celebrate its centenary with a series of events in the Town Hall Theatre on Wednesday June 8.

The centenary celebrations begin at 7.30pm with two short talks followed by questions. Theresa Moriarty will speak on Belfast woman Mary Galway, a pioneer of women’s trade unionism in Ireland, who spoke with Jim Larkin at the large public meeting in Eyre Square on June 6 1911.

Dr John Cunningham of NUI, Galway will speak on the establishment of Galway United Trades & Labour Council, following the ITUC meeting in the Town Hall, which took place from June 5 to 7.

At 8.30pm, Labour party president Michael D Higgins will launch Gilbert Lynch’s memoirs. Born in Lancashire, Lynch was in the GPO in 1916, became a union organiser in Galway and was elected Labour TD for Galway, 1927.

At 9.30pm there will be concert entitled Woody Guthrie: hard times and hard travellin’. Prof Will Kaufman will perform songs by Woody Guthrie, such ‘Vigilante Man’, ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’, and ‘I Ain’t Got No Home’, and talk about them in the context of the American 1930s - the Dust Bowl, the Depression, and the New Deal.

The event is part of the People’s History of Galway programme, which runs from today until June 10. For more information contact the Town Hall on 01 - 569777.

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