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"The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise." Photoamble. via Flickr
Big Jim

Could the statue of Labour’s founder be moved for the election?

Jim Larkin has stood on O’Connell St since 1977 – but his statue is set to be moved for Metro works, in time for the election…

THE LABOUR PARTY may be dealt an unlikely election blow by none other than the Railway Procurement Agency, after it emerged that the statue of its founder could be moved from O’Connell Street in Dublin to co-incide with the general election.

The Railway Procurement Agency yesterday confirmed to that it would have to move most of the various monuments on Dublin’s main thoroughfare over the coming months, in order to facilitate construction works for the Metro North rail system.

While the main monument on the street itself – that of Daniel O’Connell – is not likely to be moved until 2012, when main construction works are set to begin, other statues on the street will have to be temporarily relocated for preparation works – which may kick off just in time for the general election.

And among the statues set to be moved is that of James Larkin, founder of the Irish Labour Party as well as of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, which merged into SIPTU in 1990.


Among the other statues to be displaced are those of William Smith O’Brien – leader of the Young Ireland movement – and John Gray, who’s Cian Ginty wryly notes as being commemorative of bringing a functioning water supply to Dublin in 1868.

Preparatory enabling works had began on the project last April, and will move up a gear later this year when the RPA decides on an alternative location for its planned depot at Swords, which An Bord Pleanála ordered be moved as part of the conditions of its planning permission.

Any chances that Labour’s electoral prospects could be dented by the plans will be offset, however, by the party’s traditional advertising space on the side of Liberty Hall, which was the IGTWU’s headquarters before SIPTU’s formation.

Another statue of a party co-founder, James Connolly, stands at Beresford Place near Busaras and around the corner from Liberty Hall.

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