James Larkin was the second son of Mary Ann McNulty and James Larkin senior, who were Irish emmigrants. The family was impoverished, and Mary Ann unemployed. James Larkin’s father worked at a firm in Liverpool, not far away from the slums where the family resided.
James Larkin was too young to chase after his dreams in life. What mattered to him was the welfare of his family. Therefore, there are not many reasons why at the age of seven, he decided to go to school and on the same day, help with providing for the family. This taught him many lessons in life, the important one being that he should always make a worthy sacrifice when things seem too tough and unbearable. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and James Larkin | Ireland Calling
He learnt to be a man after his father passed on in 1890. Getting a chance to work at his father’s firm was both relieving and also challenging because he was still very young. In 1892, he left the firm and was without a job for some time.
The same year of 1892 became his lucky year, as he landed on a docking job. He worked this way and also as a sailor for a while, before becoming a dock foreman in 1983.
On September 8th, 1893, James Larkin extended his family by getting married to Elizabeth Brown. She bore him children, and their lives and marriage took a turn to happiness.
James Larkin joined NUDL in 1905 and left the union in 1907 because of leadership wrangles with the secretary general. He started ITGWU with the aim of uniting all Irish workers and succeeded in doing so. The Irish Labour Party came next, as he started this in collaboration with James Connoly, his good friend.
In 1914, James Larkin traveled abroad, to the United States of America. He was lucky to miss the Easter Rising of 1918, but his friend James Connoly was not very lucky. He died on March 17 the same year.
This made James Larkin start the James Connolly Socialist Club in memory of his lost friend. James Larkin was arrested I 1920 and released two years later. He was deported to Ireland where he also met his death on January 30th, 1947.