Rosie Hackett, trade union activist and co-founder of the Irish Women Worker’s Union (IWWU).

As a teenager, Rosie worked as a packer in a paper store and then got a job as a messenger for Jacob’s Biscuits. Rosie helped to galvanise and organise more than 3,000 women working in the factory. They withdrew their labour and the women were successful. They received better working conditions and an increase in pay. Rosie was just 18 years old at the time.

When the Irish Transport and General Workers Union was founded in 1909, Rosie joined. Two weeks after the famous Jacobs strike, Rosie cofounded the Irish Women Workers Union (IWWU), along with Delia Larkin. It was set up to protect women from the horrendous conditions which they were expected to work in. Rosie, along with other members of the IWWU, worked tirelessly during the 1913 Lockout providing the strikers with basic food and moral sup sort. The women set up a soup kitchen in Liberty Hall.

In 1914, Rosie lost her job in Jacobs for the part she played in the Lockout. She took up a post working as a clerk in the IWWU in Liberty Hall and worked alongside activists Delia Larkin and Helena Maloney. It was here that she became connected with the Irish Citizen Army. She also trained as a printer. Rosie was among the small group, along with Constance Markievicz and Michael Mallon, who occupied Stephen’s Green during the Easter Rising and the Royal College of Surgeons. Rosie was also involved with the group that printed the first 1916 Proclamation and gave it to James Connolly.

More info on Rosie at the Women’s Museum of Ireland website.

Thesis Issues Only I Could Have

I’m writing about the founding of the Irish Women Workers’ Union. My rule of thumb when writing about historical figures is to just use their last names after I have given their full name the first time I mention them. The problem is I have already mentioned both Jim larkin and Delia Larkin and now I need to mention them again, but I can’t just use Larkin. Is it cheating if I refer to them by their full names from here on out? Or would it be better to use J. Larkin or Big Jim for Jim Larkin and D. Larkin for Delia?