Civil Disobedience - The Labour Movement
Local pass, The Limerick Soviet, 1919
Local pass, The Limerick Soviet, 1919After a period of protest against military actions, martial law was imposed on Limerick city and the surrounding areas on 9th April, bringing the region under direct military rule. This closed the routes to Limerick and cut off the access of about 5000 workers to their employment unless they had been issued a British military pass. In response to this a strike was called by the Limerick Trades and Labour Council.
The Limerick workers refused to use the official British passes, and instead consented to use passes issued to them by their own businesses or companies. This is one of the passes issued to workers in Limerick City during the Limerick Strike, or Limerick Soviet. It is dated 26th April 1919 and made out to Michael O'Callaghan, aged 39, a tanner and managing director with an address at St Margaret's, Limerick. It was issued to him by E. O'Callaghan & Sons Ltd, Tanners and Furriers.
As a result of the strike, martial law was lifted in early May. Though the Limerick Soviet, inspired by similar soviets in continental Europe, lasted for only two weeks, it was an extremely important event in Labour activism during this period.