THE 1913 STRIKE

by jdurney on August 23, 2013

100th anniversary of the 1913 Lockout

26 August 2013 is the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Lockout. Mario Corrigan and James Durney, Kildare Library and Arts Service, have been giving talks on Co. Kildare connections to the Great Lockout in Co. Kildare libraries. This poem, with a local flavor, was given to us by Naas historian, Paddy Behan.

The 1913 Strike

Oh, James’s Street did echo to Larkin’s bugle call,
And for the rights of Irishmen, we rallied on and all;
Those tyrants Tough and Allen we left in sad dismay,
When they closed the gates behind us as we struck for higher pay.

The mounted and the foot police did all of us surround
Outside the gates of James’s Street we boldly stood our ground.
We shouted back defiance to that cursed and tyrant crew,
And closer all around us, the police force was drew.

Our gallant leader Larkin, sure he stood by our side,
And when we all got out, he gazed on us with pride.
For to give us a lecture he stepped up on a dray,
And we all gathered round him to hear what he might say.

Across that silent harbor his voice rang loud and clear,
Caused tyrants for to tremble and traitors for to fear.
He said, “My gallant heroes, today we’ll let them know,
If they fight the Dockers’ Union, they’ll fight a worthy foe.”

There was a boat for Ballinasloe in Hatch lay anchored tight,
Scabs and traitors formed for to steal her in the night;
We watched her through the darkness until the morning clear,
When our pickets on the Bog of Moods saw forty-nine appear.

We ordered out those cowards and we struck them with surprise
Bill Smyth and Parsons gazed at us with wild and wondering eyes;
And to a man named Garry, great credit him is due,
For when he heard our warning, it was from that boat he flew.

We all forgive you Garry, for you did a noble part,
And those that did not follow, will be sorry to the heart;
It would be better for them, on the road to starve and die,
Than to bear a cowardly traitor’s name, as Carey did, the spy.

Fred Kerr was at the helm when she left Lowtown Lock,
And when the horse had started off they got a dreadful shock;
With the trackline in the water were our gallant heroes true,
In a circle all around us, those hardy boatmen drew.

There was a man from Gallen, Jim Taylor was his name,
Let him be recorded in history’s scroll of fame.
He held on to the horse’s head, undaunted by the foe,
No threats would make young Taylor, the bridle reins let go.

And there was Sergeant Houlihan with a pistol in his hand,
All ready for to fire upon that young unnamed man.
With a musket placed against his breast the cowards saw no fear
In bold and manly Taylor, a boy of tender years.

He opened wide his jacket and pointed to his heart,
He says, “Come on I’m ready now and I’ve no wish to part.
Come send me that long journey to abide eternity,
And a dreadful swift and just revenge will send you after me.”

He won the battle bravely, we’re ready now again,
To work for honest labour without either sword or pen.
We’ll rally round the standard of our Union loyal and brave,
We’ll defy those cursed tyrants or fill an early grave.

Now here’s a health to Larkin, may his memory never die,
May God of battle guard him, Who rules the earth and sky.
May he trample on all tyrants, and His Glory bright be seen,
Holding high the standard of the harp above the green.

Supplied by Thomas McCormack, Allenwood South, Co. Kildare

 

Mario Corrigan and James Durney, Kildare Library and Arts Service, have been giving talks on Co. Kildare connections to the Great Lockout in Co. Kildare libraries. This poem, with a local flavor, was given to us by Naas historian, Paddy Behan.

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