Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.6 POLITICAL SCIENCE, Political science

Publication Details

Saothar, the journal of the Irish Labour History Society


In late 1920 a strike began in the building industry in Dublin that was to last until June of the following year. It effectively shut down building sites all across the city. The primary protagonists involved in the dispute were the Ancient Guild of Incorporated Brick and Stonelayers Trade Union (AGIBSLTU) and the building employers association, the Dublin Building Trades Employers’ Association (DBTEA). Both of these bodies had fought a bitterly contested lockout 15 years before, which had almost destroyed the union. In 1920, by dint of wider economic circumstances, and a belligerent determination, the union was to have the upper hand in the dispute, having become as aggressive as the employers had been 15 years earlier. This article also provides an interesting insight into how wider economic developments on the global stage were to impact upon this dispute in Dublin, foreshadowing the future influence of the global economy upon all our lives.