Larkin's disruptive nature is best exemplified by his attacks on the ITGWU
and its executive committee in his unsuccessful attempt to regain total control of the union following his return to Ireland in 1923.
The Labour Party split was followed in 1945 by a schism in the Irish Trade Union Congress (ITUC), when the ITGWU led fifteen Irish unions into the breakaway Congress of Irish Unions (CIU), in protest at alleged domination of the ITUC by British-based unions.
When he warned of communist infiltration in Waterford's Municipal Theatre in 1958, the ITGWU branch secretary seconded the vote of thanks.
Adrian Grant takes a wider, longer and more integrated view, locating the emergence of socialist republicanism as a political force (or 'mass movement') in 1909, with Larkin and the ITGWU
credited as its midwives; Connolly and the earlier ISRP (which collapsed in 1904) are discussed but seen as important in terms of ideas rather than for organisational reasons.
The labour movement remained craft-dominated and marginal until the establishment of the ITGWU
by James Larkin in 1909.
In order to do so, it draws on a fascinating mix of' sources, including records in the Guinness Archives such as a report on the ITGWU undertaken by "the Confidential Enquiry Agency of Michael Sheehan," a former detective at Dublin Castle, for the brewery's solicitor.
At once, it championed socialism and republicanism, while supporting Home Rule as a temporary solution, and portraying the ITGWU as a Catholic union.
Carney worked with both Larkin and James Connolly in the ITGWU
, and edited the Irish Worker before emigrating to the United States.
On Friday, August 15, Murphy walked into the delivery room of the Irish Independent, which he owned, and gave the workers an ultimatum: they had to choose between their jobs and the ITGWU.
This, he said, was what the ITGWU was trying to do: "It assists in organizing other unions, keeps in touch with them, and helps them in their industrial struggles.