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Thomas Johnson Papers.

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In Collection: Thomas Johnson Papers
Description: Papers of Thomas Johnson; Documents, notes and accounts relating to Johnsons involvement in various political organizations such as the Labour Party of Ireland, the Belfast Socialist Society and the Irish Trade Union Congress, the Labour Party and others, ca. 1896-1956; Materials relating to the anti-conscription movement, 1916-1918; Material relating to Johnson’s attendance at the International Socialist Conference in Berne, 1919; Extracts from speeches in Dáil Éireann regarding the Treaty and the Free State Constitution, 1921-1922; Material documenting Johnson’s trade union and political career, 1924-1954; Material relating to the General Election of September 1927, 1927; Various speeches and addresses by Thomas Johnson, ca. 1916-1923; Letters to Thomas Johnson, correspondents include Louie Bennett, William O’Brien, Maud Gonne MacBride and others, ca. 1916- 1949.

Thomas Johnson was born on 17 May 1872 in South Hunter St, Liverpool. Johnson became attracted to socialism after his experience of living conditions in working-class Liverpool. In 1893 he joined a Liverpool branch of the Independent Labour Party and became secretary of the branch. He became a proficient public speaker through his membership of the Liverpool Parliamentary Debating Society. He later moved to Belfast and became a member of the Belfast Trades Council in 1904 and ensured the council’s backing for James Larkin. He was a member of the committee which arranged for the return of James Connolly from the USA to Ireland in 1910. In 1912 with Connolly and William O’Brien, Johnson established the Irish Labour Party and was elected vice-chairman. Between 1913-1916 Johnson was president of the Irish Trades Union Congress and Labour Party. He also campaigned against Ireland’s involvement in the first world war. In 1918 he took part in the anti-conscription campaign. He moved to Dublin and became secretary of the Mansion House anti-conscription committee and published ‘A Handbook for rebels: a guide to successful defiance of the British Government’. He was later elected a TD for Dublin County in the 1922 general election and remained leader of the Labour party until 1927. In 1928 he was elected to Seanad Éireann where he served as leader of the Labour senators. Johnson was a key figure in the Labour-Fianna Fáil alliance of the 1930’s. He served as one of the two workers’ representatives on the labour court from its establishment in 1946 until 1956. He died on 17 January 1963.
Main Creator: Johnson, Thomas, 1872-1963
Language: English
Extent: 6 boxes.
Format: MANUSCRIPT
Call Number: MS 17,100-17,274 (Manuscripts Reading Room)
Rights: Reproduction rights owned by the National Library of Ireland.