James Larkin began his activism and socialism through his membership at NUDL, the National Union of Dock Labourers. NUDL was a union that was formed long before James Larkin had developed an interest in socialism. Its fight for fair labor treatment was known to all who directly or indirectly interacted with the union.
NUDL always felt like the right place for Jim Larkin to be. Actually, for the first few years after his membership in 1905, Jim did a lot of activities in place of the union with much liking and success. However, this enthusiasm was not long-lived. He was forced out of NUDL due to reasons that James Sexton knew. Even though some came to think of Jim Larkin as a man who treasured insubordination more, the truth was that his disagreement with James Sexton led to a rivalry that would only be solved by either of the two leaving NUDL.
ITWGU became his next interest, with its formation being one of the greatest times of Larkin’s life. He headed ITWGU and became its Secretary General. James Larkin’s dream for the organization was the unity of skilled and unskilled Irish workers.
He then joined up with James Connolly for the formation of a more prominent union, the Irish Labour Party, ILP. Although this organization for a long time seemed political, its true colors were revealed in the lockout of Dublin, 1913, which would not be forgotten so soon. James Larkin’s friendship with James Connolly brought to an end the old Larkin and saw the birth of a new Jim that has people so close to his life that he would want to do everything with them towards the attainment of a better society.
When James Connolly died back in Ireland as Larkin had traveled to the United States, the latter formed a union. This organization was meant to honor his one true friend’s memory, and the fact that his death happened in the Easter Rising was much saddening. James Larkin’s personal life did not take a much greater turn, as he was also laid to rest a few years later after his deportation to Ireland from the US.