Congress of Irish Unions

This article is about the historic organisation which existed between 1945 and 1959. For the modern trade union governing body, see Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

The Congress of Irish Unions was one of the two governing bodies that emerged after the split in the Irish trade union body the Irish Trade Union Congress in 1945. The split developed under pressure from an anticipated fresh labour-state relationship, and alleged 'British domination in ITUC'. The CIU consisted entirely of Irish-based unions, and retained 77,500 workers, including the members of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union. The aim of the CIU was to create a trade union movement in Ireland which was Irish-based and nationalistic in outlook, in contrast to the more internationalist and socialist ITUC which had 146,000 members. The Government, contrary to expectation, did not legislate against the British unions, and from 1953 encouraged a détente between the two factions.[1] Both organisations amalgamated in 1959, becoming the Irish Congress of Trade Unions .


1945: Cathal O'Shannon
1946: Leo Crawford


194546: Gerard Owens, Electrical Trades Union (Ireland)
1947: Thomas Kennedy, Irish Transport and General Workers Union
1948: William J. Whelan, Dublin Typographical Provident Society
1949: Owen Hynes, Building Workers' Trade Union
1950: Michael Colgan, Irish Bookbinders and Allied Trades Union
1951: John Conroy, Irish Transport and General Workers Union
1952: Walter H. Beirne, Irish National Union of Vintners', Grocers' and Allied Trade Assistants
1953: William McMullen, Irish Transport and General Workers Union
1954: Gerald Doyle, Operative Plasterers' Trade Society
1955: John O'Brien, Irish Engineering, Industrial and Electrical Trade Union
1956: Michael Mervyn, Electrical Trades Union (Ireland)
1957: Laurence Hudson, United House and Ships Painters' and Decorators' Trade Union of Ireland
195859: Terence Farrell, Irish Bookbinders and Allied Trades Union

Source: Donal Nevin et al., Trade Union Century, pp. 438–439



From the EMIRE database, which is the online version of the European Employment and Industrial Relations Glossaries

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