Limerick Soviet on show in St Patrick’s Day parade

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts


Limerick Soviet on show in St Patrick’s Day parade

Members of Siptu in Limerick will take part in the parade to mark the centenary of the Limerick Soviet  PICTURE: MICHAEL COWHEY

A SMALL bit of history will be made at this year’s city St Patrick’s Day parade, with trade union Siptu entering for the first time.

They are in 48th position and will mark the 100th anniversary of the Limerick Soviet which will be marked next month.

Often a forgotten part of Limerick’s rich history, back in April 1919, martial law was declared in the city after a general strike was organised by the Limerick Trades Council in protest against the British Army’s declaration of a Special Military Area.

​Croagh man Pat Condon, who chairs Siptu’s Limerick District Council, is leading the way on the union’s entry into the parade.

A new flag has been designed, depicting the people on Sarsfield Bridge being stopped at the barrier, as well as the 10 shilling promissory note allowed by the Limerick Trades Council.

This, along with the traditional Siptu district one and two banners will be hauled down O’Connell Street as part of the parade.

Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Mr Condon, who co-ordinates the Limerick district council said: “It’s a great thing to recognise the fact the unions worked so hard in 1919. You’d need to ask if we are still in the same boat 100 years down the road when you look at precarious work and people with difficulty with continual contracts which are never linked to a substantive post.”

“We are extremely proud of the fact that workers in 1919 decided to unite and bring the city to a standstill,” he added.

Around 60 members of Siptu will be joined in the parade by players from the forthcoming Bread not Profits play, which will be a huge public performance in the Cleeves factory during the month of April, marking the 100th anniversary of the Soviet.