At an event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Irish Labour History Society, Fermanagh Trade Unionist, Jim Quinn, presented the President of Ireland, Michael. D Higgins, with a copy of ‘Labouring Beside Lough Erne’, a history of the Fermanagh Labour movement from 1826 to 1932.

Mr. Quinn, who is Secretary of the Fermanagh Council of Trade Unions, was attending the event at Áras an Uachtaráin, which was addressed by the President and Shay Cody, President of the Irish Labour History Society.

Speaking on meeting President Higgins, Mr. Quinn said: “I was delighted to meet the President at an event marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Labour History Society.

“He told me that he looked forward to reading our book about the history of the first 100 years of the Fermanagh Labour movement, ‘Labouring Beside Lough Erne’.”

The President also planted a tree and unveiled a commemorative plaque in memory of trade union leader and Labour leader, Tom Johnson, author of the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil.

The tree planting took place ahead of May Day, with the Irish oak tree planted close to ‘The Plough and the Stars’ – a piece of public art unveiled in 2018 to mark the 1913 Lockout, the Irish Citizen Army and its first secretary and historian, playwright Seán O’Casey.

The event was attended by members and supporters of the Irish Labour movement, past and present, including the President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Kevin Callinan; the General Secretary of Ireland’s largest trade union, SIPTU; Joe Cunningham; the leader of the Labour party, Ivana Bacik; and former Labour party leader, Ruairí Quinn.