jump to navigation

Poster for John Lumsden -Irish Worker League – 1930 Local Elections Dublin March 20, 2013

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish History, Workers League.

From the 1930 Local Elections a poster for John Lumsden of The Irish Worker League who was running in Area Number 5. He polled a respectable 611 votes but failed to win a seat. Party Colleague Jim Larkin was elected in Area no 2.

The 1930 Local Election Results for Dublin are available here

Should anyone have any more information or suggested reading, on that 1930 Election, John Lumsden or the Irish Worker League , I would (and the sender) be very grateful.

Many thanks to the sender.



1. Florrie O'Donoghue - March 20, 2013

Very interesting, thank you.

They seem to have ran two people in the No. 4 area.
In the No. 3 area: ‘J J Hart (National Businessmens Assoc) 448’
– a forerunner of IBEC?

Is mise srl.,


2. Cass Flower (@cassflower) - March 20, 2013

Nice. Are there any like that around today ?


3. irishelectionliterature - March 21, 2013

Had a look at a number of books and pamphlets and only found information on the IWL in “James Larkin – Lion of the fold” and “Communism in Ireland” by BICO

This is just a rough sketch of the IWL gleaned from the above sources.

In 1923 James Larkin returned to Ireland from America and relaunched the paper “The Irish Worker” .The Irish Worker League was initially was a group to support the paper but grew from that to a political movement based around Larkin with the aim to be an organisation of
‘a militant working class movement to achieve in our time economic, political and intellectual freedom’.
It didn’t have much public support but in 1924 it was accepted as the Irish section of Communist International, displacing the Communist Party of Ireland which had been set up by Roddy Connolly , son of James Connolly.

The League was also affiliated to Larkins Workers Union of Ireland. The Leagues activities included lectures, lotteries for prisoners dependents, dances in support of striking workers and the sale of low price food.
It ran 3 candidates in the September 1927 Election John Lawlor in South Dublin, Jim Larkin in Dublin North and Jim Larkin Jnr in Dublin County.Between them they outpolled Labour in Dublin.

Aside from Larkin some notable members were former heavyweight boxer Jack Dempsey (who knew larkin from the States), Muriel McSwiney (Widow of Terence McSwiney,
(Dempsey later fell out with Larkin)

There was a split in 1930 which led to the Revolutionary Workers Party (which Jim Larkin Jnr stood for) standing in the 1930 local elections. In 1928 12 IWL members were selected for a long course of political training at the Lenin school in Moscow. They returned in 1930 “as the cadre force around which a new CP was to be built” and “formed Revolutionary Workers Groups in many parts of the country”.
The Irish Worker League dissolved in 1932.


4. David Convery - March 21, 2013

Lots on the Irish Worker League in Emmet O’Connor ‘Reds and the Green: Ireland, Russia and the Communist International 1919-43′. Although a section of the Comintern, Larkin used it largely as a vehicle for his own projects, rather trying to develop it as a Bolshevik-style party. The Comintern eventually grew concerned, and a number of promising Irish communists were sent to be trained at the International Lenin School in Moscow, including Jim Larkin Jr and Sean Murray. When these returned, the Comintern could ditch Lakin and launch the Revolutionary Workers’ Groups as its affiliate in Ireland. Larkin would continue with the IWL, which as you say, was eventually wound up. The RWG however, would become the CPI in 1933.


irishelectionliterature - March 21, 2013

Thanks a million for that David.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: