James Connolly Labour College - September 1920


One hundred years ago this month the ITGWU and other unions publicised the fact that their numbers were swelling and across nearly every sector of Irish industry they could claim members.


In fact, reports from September 1920 suggested that the their membership was well in excess of 100,000 people. Newspapers such as The Watchword of Labour (available through the Irish Newspaper Archive) reveal this growing interest in the cause of labour right across the country. In September 1920 the newspaper advertised the ‘James Connolly Labour College’ which was located at 42 North Great George’s Street, Dublin. For the winter session the college was offering five lectures on ‘Tools and the man’ and eight lectures on ‘The World and its Wealth’. The lectures were to be delivered by M.M. McDonnell and RJP Morishead. In addition to these lectures in Dublin, classes were also held in Bray and Dun Laoghaire. Offering classes on the history of Irish industry, attendees would also receive tuition in public speaking. Ahead of their times and similar to what is happening today during the Covid19 Pandemic, the college were also offering classes by long distance, or correspondence. Offering three courses by distance, the idea was certainly to provide the platform for people to take on the cause of labour in their areas, an again part of the emphasis was on learning the ‘art of public speaking’. Priced at two shillings six pence per lesson, readers were encouraged to seize the opportunity.


Source: The Watchword of Labour 1919-1920, Saturday, September 25, 1920, page 6


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