The society has a constitutional obligation to promote the knowledge of Irish labour history and of Irish people in labour history abroad and labour history in general, to promote an appreciation of the importance of labour history in the educational curriculum and the preservation of all records and reminiscences, oral and written, relating to the current and past experiences of the Irish working class and its organisations.

The organisation achieves its aims through publications, seminars and the operation of its museum at Beggars Bush in Dublin.

Publications of the Society include:

Trade Union Records in Dublin

Edited by Sarah Ward-Perkins

The guide, based mainly on an extensive survey of trade union records in union premises and institutions in Dublin, is an invaluable reference book. It includes outline histories, membership figures and descriptions of the records for 128 unions, as well as listing over 950 trade societies and unions which operated in Ireland until c.1970.


The Voice of a Thinking Intelligent Movement:
James Larkin Junior and the Ideological Modernisation of Irish Trade Unionism

by Manus O’Riordan

This pamphlet first appeared as an article in Saothar 19 (1994), journal of the Irish Labour History Society. This edition contains a number of textural amendments and different illustrative material.


Work in Progress: Episodes from the history of Irish women’s trade unionism

by Theresa Moriarty

This pamphlet attempts to trace the ancestry of unions like the Irish Womens Workers’ Union, organised by women and open to all women workers, and the entry of women into the membership and structures of’ ‘mixed’ (men and women) trade unions as we know them today.


The Parliament of Labour: 100 Years of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions

Edited by Paul Doyle and John O’Dowd

A programme guide to a 1986 exhibition held in The Dublin Civic Museum celebrating the centenary of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions. This edition contains a number of textural amendments and different illustrative material.


C. Desmond Greaves, 1913 – 1988: An Obituary Essay

by Anthony Coughlan

This pamphlet first appeared as an article in Saothor 14 (1989) as a tribute to Greaves’s contribution to labour history and in recognition of his undervalued contribution as a labour activist.


Acting for the Actors: Dermot Doolan and the organisation of Irish actors and performing artists, 1947 – 1985

Compiled and edited by Francis Devine

This pamphlet grew out of a series of interviews with Dermot Doolan and provides a brief insight into the actors union, Equity.