Leixlip link to 1913 Lockout

Brian Foy, from Leixlip, whose grandfather played a key role in the 1913 Lockout.
This month marks the 100th anniversary of a famous Dublin labour dispute in which trade unionists led by Jim Larkin took on employers and others in power.

This month marks the 100th anniversary of a famous Dublin labour dispute in which trade unionists led by Jim Larkin took on employers and others in power.

The dispute was not just about wage levels but about the right to be a member of a trade union.

The struggle has led to focus on many outstanding characters of the time including Jim Larkin and James Connolly.

Lesser known, but key, was Sligo born,William Partridge, trade unionist and editor, a trusted aide to both Larkin and, later, in the Citizens Army, James Connolly.

Partridge, who fought for what he saw as justice, died in 1917 at the young age of 42 after being jailed at Lewes, UK. Constance Markievicz gave the oration at his funeral

The era holds a special interest for long time Leixlip resident, Brian Foy, from Elton Court, William’s grandson.

William’s daughter, Eileen, married Brain’s father, Kevin Foy, a founder member of Rathfarnham credit union.

In July this year, Brian and his wider family gathered in Inchicore for the unveiling of a memorial plaque at the house where William and his family lived.

Brian never met his grandfather but has documents including copies of William’s beautiful handwriting.

William served as a Labour councillor on Dublin city council but he faced hardship following arrest during the bitter dispute of 1913, which led to the tram drivers going on strike on 26 August. “He had bottle,” said Brian of his grandfather’s courage in his fight for justice and improved living conditions.

William is a subject of a biography by Hugh Geraghty and features in Padraig Yeates book, “Lockout -Dublin 1913.”