Coal Strike – Ireland

The Irish Independence Film Collection
Directed by:
British Pathé
Produced by:
British Pathé


22 sec
Silent with English Intertitles

This newsreel shows the impact the mining crisis in England (March 1921) had on Ireland. The camera pans across the docks showing boats being held up and coal wharfs empty in the ports.

In the aftermath of the First World War, the Triple Alliance (a group made up of railwaymen, transport workers, and coal miners) were regarded by many trade unionists as a defence against the threat of wage reductions occasioned by the onset of economic depression. A complicating factor was that both the coal industry and railways had been controlled by the state during the war and were not immediately returned to private hands. The Coalition-Liberal Government of David Lloyd George was unwilling to impose wage reductions, as this would provoke strike action against the government with political implications. Reductions for miners were postponed until the industry was de-controlled on  March 31st 1921. Miners who refused to accept the reductions were locked out of employment.