National Seamens and Firemans Union, Waterford

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Where: Waterford, Ireland

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When: 09 February 1920

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To end the week we have a group photo from Poole of the Waterford Branch of the National Seamens and Firemans Union. It comes complete with reminders of the perils of their trades! Once a form of employment common among the people of port cities, today there are few jobs in ships occupied by men or women from Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Arklow etc. Men who go down to the sea in ships!

Niall McAuley confirms that this is Waterford courthouse, and also links an earlier crewlisting of the SS Sheerness vessel represented by the buoy held by the lad front-left (it lists a few crewmen with Waterford connections - who could be pictured). Guliolopez provides some information on how the "NS&FU" were, sometimes alongside the land-based dockworker's unions, involved in advancing conditions for workers in the era this image was taken (an "eventful" period for the labour movement in the region).....

Date: c.9 February 1920

NLI Ref: POOLEWP 2841a

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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 20373
ahpoole arthurhenripoole glassnegative nationallibraryofireland groupphoto seamen firemen union nationalseamensandfiremansunion waterfordbranch lifebelts sheernessglasgow nationalunionofseamen branch labour waterford havelockwilson tradeunion sssheerness clydeshippingcompany locationidentified poolephotographiccollection

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    Carol Maddock

    • 27/Jan/2017 09:12:14

    Beautiful banner! Wonder if it still survives...

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Jan/2017 09:35:58

    Not the steps of the Imperial hotel... It's the courthouse in Waterford: Wedding at Waterford Courthouse Streetview does not get very close.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Jan/2017 09:42:01

    Sheerness was a cargo ship, and was wrecked at the Tuskar Rock in 1927.

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    • 27/Jan/2017 09:43:36

    These men worked hard for their pay. I'd imagine more than a few of those pictured had an opinion (and probably input) into the general strike we spoke about late last week. Seemingly the NS&FU joined in the 1890s with other Waterford-based union branches to reduce the working-day to 10 hours, and gain an extra few shillings a week for the dock workers also. As with [[email protected]], I'd love to think the banner survives. Might need the OFarl to contribute on that.... EDIT: Connolly and Larkin and the ITGWU (representing the dock workers) seemingly did not always have a good relationship with Havelock Wilson and the NS&FU (representing the ship workers). Not helped I guess that Wilson's union was UK-based, and that an action by either group would (if not coordinated) affect the workers of the other union. It looks like members of the Dublin NS&FU branch joined the 1913 lockout however - even if the ITGWU seemingly covered their strike pay rather than the NS&FU itself....

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Jan/2017 10:11:44

    Crew of the Sheerness in 1915.

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    • 27/Jan/2017 10:19:43

    9/28 not moustached. About a third.

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    • 27/Jan/2017 10:35:14

    A beautiful composed photograph again by Mr.Poole.

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    • 27/Jan/2017 11:33:31

    Filipino Crews, mostly, these days.

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    • 27/Jan/2017 19:47:57 And a couple of real walruses, especially the two holding the banner.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 29/Jan/2017 21:25:57

    Thanks everyone, and for the list of crew - I guess it's possible that maybe some of the Waterford-men listed in that crew were present for the photo. I've linked it from the updated description (and also updated the tags and map based on all the inputs).