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Waterford and the Farm Labourers’ Strike 1923

“Inciendiarism in Waterford”

Waterford City and County Council will be holding a free half day conference on the Farm Labourers Strike on Thursday 4th May at the Park Hotel in Dungarvan. In 1923 Waterford was in a volatile state. Strikes were called, soviets announced, curfews in place and battle lines were drawn. The strikes in 1923 were the culmination of increasing efforts to improve conditions and terms for labourers on the part of the Trade Unions and the determination of the Waterford Farmers Union to ensure its members held firm in their stance that “It is not a generous wage, but it is as much as the industry can stand”.

This conference explores the Farm Labourers’ Strike in the wider context of the labour movement, looks at the strikes in relation to the Irish Revolution and explores the role of the Free State Army and the path taken by the new Irish Free State in its early days in relation to this attempt by workers to fight to have their voices heard.

Dr. Emmet O’Connor, author of A Labour History of Ireland 1824-2000 and Rotten Prod the Unlikely History of Dongaree Baird about Jim Baird, ITGWU union organiser in Waterford in 1923 will deliver the opening address on “Waterford 1923-The Wider Context”. Dr. Pat McCarthy will talk about the actions taken by the new Free State government in sending in the National Army to “make an example of the place”. Dr. Terry Dunne will speak about women in rural labour history and Kieran Allen, Professor of Sociology will talk about Waterford Agricultural Workers and the Irish Revolution.

The event will also include the launch of the Waterford 1916 to 1923 website where resources from the Decade of Centenaries in Waterford will be made available and the launch of a new online map of Waterford and the Civil War.

This event is free but booking is required. You can book on Eventbrite at

This event is part of the programme of events organised by Waterford Commemorations Committee and is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.




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