The cartoonist often poked fun at Jim Larkin’s expense, especially as the dispute dragged on, and this cartoon shows him and William O’Brien, another leading trade unionist of the day. Larkin would go to England during the dispute to drum up support among the English workers and trade union leadership, referring to this as the Firey Cross campaign. The mission was to instigate solidarity strikes in Britain which could be of assistance to the cause of the Dublin workers, but Larkin failed in this task. Here we see a match, representing the English union movement, with Larkin bemoaning the fact “it will only strike on its own box”.
Larkin’s attempt to ‘light’ the Firey Cross was ridiculed the following week once more. Larkin was shown firing at a barrel, which in another cartoon below was shown to explode with ‘trade union snubs’ and ‘hostile public opinion’ and the like. Mocking Jim, the paper noted on its frontpage that Larkin was a “Liberty Hall autocrat” who was “looking for trouble” in England.
One cartoon which did not feature in either post to date and really should have is this powerful image, showing a Catholic priest rescuing a child from ‘socialism’.
The cartoon is a reference to the Save the Kiddies campaign, essentially an attempt to send the children of locked out workers to England during the labour conflict. The intervention of the church in this dispute was reprehensible, physically preventing working class children from leaving the city. The attitude of the church hierarchy was captured best in a letter from Archbishop Walsh to the media in which he targeted the mothers of the children and claimed
I can only put it to them that they can be no longer held worthy of the name of Catholic mothers if they so far forget that duty as to send away their children to be cared for in a strange land, without security of any kind that those to whom the poor children are to be handed over are Catholics, or, indeed, are persons of any faith at all.
This series of cartoons featured on the front page of the Sindo on 5 October 1913. ‘Socialism’ is shown burying ‘Christian Principles’, while the ‘Ordinary Man’ is showing telling the ‘Syndicalist’ where to go. Both of these were common themes in the Indo cartoons, the idea that socialism was somehow anti-Catholic or anti-Irish, and the idea that the ‘ordinary people’ of Dublin would be the ones to ultimately tell Larkin and his followers they were not wanted.
On 19 October, this series of cartoons appeared. One shows the ‘Sympathetic Strike’ represented in the form of a hot air balloon. This tactic was central to Larkin’s political ideas, and involved bringing out workers not directly involved in a dispute in solidarity with those who were. It is clear Murphy’s paper believed that the lockout was breaking this tactic and Larkinism in general. The bottom right cartoon gives some commentary on the housing crisis, insisting that “a helping hand” was needed to provide better housing for the working class. The horrific Church Street collapse in September 1913 ensured housing was a topic on the lips and minds of many in the last four months of 1913.