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Limerick Dockers At The Front | Limerick Gazette Archives

Limerick Dockers At The Front

At a recent meeting of the Limerick Trades and Labour Council, the question of introducing steam or electric cranes at Limerick docks sparked fervent debate amongst delegates. The deliberation shed light on the plight of the city’s dockworkers, particularly poignant amidst the backdrop of the Great War.

The issue came to the fore as delegates reflected on the recent conference concerning the city’s coal supply. Those in attendance relayed that there was considerable dissent regarding the proposed modernization, viewing it as potentially detrimental to the workforce.

The primary contention against the introduction of steam or electric cranes stemmed from concerns over the impact on Limerick’s quay labourers, many of whom were currently serving at the front lines of the war. Delegates voiced apprehension that such a move would not only disregard the sacrifices of these brave individuals but also jeopardize the livelihoods of those remaining at home.

In a poignant display of solidarity, the delegates unanimously adopted a report opposing the proposed modernization. The decision underscored the council’s commitment to safeguarding the interests of Limerick’s working class, particularly during these tumultuous times.

The discussion surrounding the potential introduction of advanced machinery at Limerick docks reflects a broader societal tension between progress and tradition. While technological advancements promise efficiency and productivity gains, they also raise valid concerns about their impact on employment and the well-being of workers.

The historical context of the Great War adds a layer of complexity to the debate. With many Limerick dockworkers serving on the front lines, the decision to modernize operations at home takes on heightened significance. It becomes not merely a question of economic efficiency but also one of honouring the sacrifices made by those fighting for their country.

As Limerick navigates these challenging times, the council’s decision reflects a commitment to preserving the dignity and livelihoods of its working class. While the allure of technological progress may be enticing, it is imperative to proceed with caution and ensure that advancements do not come at the expense of those who have already given so much.

Freeman’s Journal – Friday 03 March 1916