Thursday, April 25, 2013

James Plunkett's Strumpet City - Book of the Month for April

Dublin: One City, One Book is an initiative that encourages Dubliners, and everyone interested in the culture of the city, to read one book (the same book) during the month of April each year. James Plunkett's classic, Strumpet City has been selected as the book for 2013, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of the Dublin Lockout.

The Dublin Lockout was an event that saw over 20,000 workers in Dublin locked out from their places of employment, in a bid by employers of the city (lead by William Martin Murphy) to stamp out trade unionism and organised labour. Strumpet City is a historical novel set against the backdrop of these events.

Regarded by some as 'the great Irish novel', the story was also turned into a successful mini-series, with a script by the late Hugh Leonard and Peter O'Toole playing the role of James Larkin, the leader of the ITGWU who lead the resistance to the employers.

The series was immensely popular in Ireland and was even picked up by broadcasters overseas. It is often fondly remembered for the performance by actor David Kelly (who died last year) in the role of Rashers Tierney. Actor Bryan Murray, who also had a central role in the series, recalls that at the time it was seen almost as an Irish Roots - the TV series about African-American slavery which appeared around the same time.

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