€15 Silver Proof Coin 2013
Commemorating the Centenary of the 1913 Dublin Lockout
In 1913, the living conditions of the poor in Dublin were dire. Unskilled workers were badly paid and lived in over-crowded tenements where disease was rife and mortality rates high. James Larkin, founder and leader of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, organised a series of strikes involving carters, dockers, railwaymen and tram workers to improve their pay and working conditions. A bitter conflict ensued with the Dublin Employers’ Federation who locked out their workers. Other unions supported their fellow workers leading to further unrest and unemployment. The dispute was one of the largest and most important in Irish labour history. It lasted from 26 August 1913 to 18 January 1914 and involved over 20,000 workers and 400 employers. It paved the way for fairer employment for Irish workers. In conjunction with the Department of Finance, the Central Bank of Ireland has issued a limited edition collector coin to commemorate the Centenary of The 1913 Dublin Lockout.
These historic limited issue €15 collector coins have been struck to the highest proof quality. The reverse of the coin features a symbolic representation of Jim Larkin addressing a gathering of locked-out workers and their families. The design is by renowned Irish sculptor Rory Breslin. The obverse of the coin bears the traditional representation of the Irish harp. These historic €15 collector coins are beautifully minted and are a fitting tribute to commemorate this significant centenary in Irish history. Each coin is struck to proof quality in .925 sterling silver and is enclosed within its own elegant presentation case. A numbered Certificate of Authenticity testifying to the low issue limit accompanies each coin. This commemorative coin issue is strictly limited to only 10,000 silver coins.
Rory Breslin studied art at the National College of Art and Design as well as in England, France, Czech Republic and Slovakia. He co-founded the Head Sculpture gallery in Dublin, has lectured part-time in the National College of Art and Design and has had numerous solo drawing and sculpture exhibitions in Ireland and abroad. He is currently living in the West of Ireland. “The design has as its background the crowds, men with soft caps and women in hats. The inclusion of women is important because, while most of the historic images depict mainly men on the streets at meetings, this was an event that had an enormous impact on whole families. The coin depicts the bars of a gate and lock, with the crowd and Larkin in the background. The bars give the viewer the impression of looking through them, a motif that separates the scene from ourselves in the present where we have a myriad of hard won rights not only in labour law but in the Irish Constitution and in European law. The addition of the lock not only emphasises the hard stance taken by the employers of the day, it is also a pictorial reference to the centenary and its usual name, The Dublin Lockout. In showing Larkin from behind we are facing the crowd of varying individuals, each with a story to tell. The emphasis is turned from Larkin as a focal point of the picture back to the community and their desperate situation at the time.”
|Designer Reverse||Rory Breslin|