Labour History


The objective of this module is to provide learners with an understanding of the developments in the history of the trade union movement in Ireland. Learners will also explore the changing nature of the world of work during the early part of the 20th Century

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Explain key moments in trade union history from the late 19th century to the present day.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of how the trade union movement played a key role in the birth of the Irish state and the role women played in the growth of the trade union movement.
  • Present historical data in a clear, concise manner


O’Connor, E., (2011) A Labour History of Ireland 1824-2000. 2nd Edition, Dublin: University College Dublin Press

You could also have a listen to one of the podcasts produced by SIPTU College – there are two labour history ones here

Here’s something you might be asked to do in an assignment in this module:

Write a letter to your union’s General Secretary proposing the holding of a social event to commemorate a particular event or person in labour history.

This is an elective or optional module in the Trade Union Studies Certificate programme worth 5 credits. It will be delivered by way of five 3-hour night classes; 3 full day classes or a combination of each.