Congress group : commissioned by Mr. Larkin

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Where: 2 The Mall, Waterford, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 01 August 1918

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
A 'congress' group with the name Larkin attached in or around 1918, might indicate a certain Mr. "Big Jim" Larkin(?) Could this be an early example of the Irish Congress of Trades Union? Or perhaps an early version of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association? :)

It is confirmed by Carol Maddock that this is the 1918 Waterford meeting of the Irish Trades Union Congress. Though Carol and sharon.corbet advise that the "Larkin" who commissioned the image was not Jim Larkin of Dublin, but maybe Luke Larkin of the Waterford branch of the National Union of Railway Men. O Mac also identifies one of the men pictured (the seated man with full beard and lighter suit) as William O'Brien, who was then president of the ITUC. According to the Wikipedia article linked by our intrepid investigators, O'Brien was involved in establishing the ITGWU in 1909, instrumental in the Dublin Lock-out in 1913, participated in the anti-conscription movement of Spring 1918, and became a TD in the early 1920s. Who knows what may follow if any others in the picture are ID'ed :) .....

Photographer: A. H. Poole

Collection: Poole Photographic Studio, Waterford

Date: c.8 August 1918


You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 7064
ahpoole arthurhenripoole glassnegative nationallibraryofireland groupofmen congress ictu sittingonsteps irishtradesunioncongress williamobrien tradeunion labourmovement williamxobrien larkin lukelarkin imperialhotel waterford union poolephotographiccollection

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    Niall McAuley

    • 31/Jan/2017 09:26:33

    Irish Labour Party and Trades Union Congress

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    • 31/Jan/2017 09:27:38

    Did Poole do nothing but hang around outside that hotel with a camera photgraphing random mobs of suits?

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    • 31/Jan/2017 09:35:37

    7/34 clean shaven. Which proves nothing except that tastes change!

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    Carol Maddock

    • 31/Jan/2017 09:54:10

    From the Irish Examiner on Tuesday, 6 August 1918...

    The twenty-fourth annual Irish Trades Union Congress was opened in the City Hall, Waterford, yesterday, under most encouraging and happy circumstances. There was a very large and representative attendance, about 240 delegates from every part of the country being present. The spacious hall was filled to its utmost capacity, and the proceedings were characterised by unanimity and enthusiasm. A civic welcome was extended to the delegates by Councillor Ml. Kirwan, locum tenens for the Mayor, who was absent owing to illness, and local speakers also extended greetings to the delegates. The Congress will occupy three days.

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    • 31/Jan/2017 10:33:58

    [] Looks like nine to me.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 31/Jan/2017 10:41:58

    Not entirely convinced that Mr Larkin would be "Big Jim" Larkin. He was in the US from after the Dublin Lockout until the early 1920s.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 31/Jan/2017 10:55:25

    Lest any of you think that the Mayor was absent from welcoming the Congress members above because he was swinging the lead - this was in the Munster Express on Saturday, 10 August 1918...

    The Mayor of Waterford, Councillor D. MacDonald, who was seized with an attack of pneumonia during his stay in Dublin, is now convalescent, and intends going to the seaside to recuperate.

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    • 31/Jan/2017 11:03:37

    [[email protected]] Based on the Report of the 24th Annual Congress, it would probably have been Luke Larkin of the Waterford Branch of the National Union of Railway Men.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 31/Jan/2017 11:12:53

    [] Excellent, thanks! I wonder if he's the Luke Larkin who was a 21 year old railway porter in Dublin in 1911?

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    O Mac

    • 31/Jan/2017 12:47:45

    The photograph was taken outside the old Imperial Hotel. The Mall, Waterford..... On the steps behind the carriage.

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    O Mac

    • 31/Jan/2017 16:51:38

    I think the man in the light toned suit is William X. O'Brien (Note suit and cap) who along with James Larkin and Connolly founded the ITGWU. .....Man in Poole's picture above has a cap on his lap.

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    • 01/Feb/2017 00:32:19

    [[email protected]] That's definitely O'Brien alright - no doubt. Would recognise him anywhere. O'Brien was president of the Irish Trades Union Congress at the time. (While my own grandfather isn't pictured in this 1918 Poole shot, he is in the 1914 Congress image which you link). Anyway, as [[email protected]] mentions, Jim Larkin isn't pictured here. He was still in the US. So I agree that the "Waterford" Larkin is the most likely commissioner of the image. (In fact, even if this was the 1920s, after "Dublin" Larkin returned from the US, he'd have been unlikely to commission an image with quite this group. Larkin was at odds with O'Brien immediately upon his return. And remained so for decades. Contributing to fractures within the union and labour movements well into the 1950s).

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 02/Feb/2017 00:15:33

    Thanks [[email protected]] and [[email protected]]. We are always delighted when we can identify and definitivey name someone in these images. (Although sometimes it feels like the worlds hardest game of "Guess Who?" - Where all the candidates have a similar hairstyle, and asking the question "does he have a moustache?" rarely helps whittle-down the field :) )

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    • 04/Feb/2017 08:38:57


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    O Mac

    • 29/May/2017 14:55:59

    Same place 17 years earlier