Families of striking British miners visited Dublin
On the 21st of August 1984, during the miners’ strike in Britain, a group of partners and children of striking miners visited Tallaght. The week-long trip was organised by the Tallaght Committee to Support Mine Workers, to give striking workers’ families a holiday. The visit included a Lord Mayor’s reception at the Mansion House, a meeting with the Chair of Dublin County Council, meetings with Tallaght Community Council, trips to Mosney Holiday Camp, Cantrell & Cochrane and Portmarnock racecourse.
Eamonn Walsh, former Labour TD and councillor, who kindly donated a number of documents from the campaign to the archive, recalls:
“The most memorable event in my political career was my involvement with a project to assist the women and children of striking miners in the 1980′s in Barnsley and alleviating the struggle with thatcher’s regime. A group of Labour Party members in Dublin south west got together to collect money, every Saturday night in pubs to assist the miners in their struggle. When we had a sizeable sum collected we decided that a holiday in Tallaght for women and children would be the best way to use the collection.
John McDonnell was Treasurer of the committee. In his introduction to McDonnell’s book, Songs of Struggle and Protest, Francis Devine describes a Workers’ Music Co-operative gig as part of the trip:
During the Great Miners’ Strike 1984-1985, WMC ran fund-raising gigs. McDonnell, greatly assisted by Paul Mulhern, Labour Party, organised a week’s holiday in Tallaght for twenty-four children and five miners’ wives from Barnsley Women Against Pit Closures - a spin off from Ann Scargill, Maureen Exley and Marsha Marshall’s speaking tour, August 1984. The adults enjoyed a night at the WMC Club, claiming “they never heard so many miners’ songs in their lives”.