‘The Threshold of a Newer Movement’ by Eamonn Kirwan details the development of the Labour Party in Cork in the early decades of the 20th century.
The book describes how the Party began in Cork, how it was organised and structured, the elections contested both national and local, key personalities that helped shape the Party and the policies and issues as expressed by public representatives and members of the Party.
The beginnings are shaped by the seismic events of Ireland from 1914 onwards with rural Cork playing the dominant role in shaping the Party in the early decades of its existence.
Carrigaline and the surrounding area was to the forefront in the formative years. The town and its hinterland had strong Land and Labour links and trade union influence most notably the IT&GWU. A branch of the T&GWU had existed since 1923 and a Labour branch was formed in the early 1930s. Other Labour branches were formed in Courtmacsherry, Crosshaven, Passage West and Kinsale in the early 1930s.
The Union and the Labour Party in the town were closely connected with prominent branch officers active in both. The branch drew its membership from the trade unions in the town and also drew support from the rural hinterland with agricultural labourers being an important part of the membership.
Dan Desmond played a critical role in representing these workers. The Desmond family - Dan, Eileen and Paula were synonymous with the Party in Carrigaline over many decades.
The book is available through Carrigaline Bookshop and retails at €14.99