William Barrett played a small but significant role in the 1907 Belfast Dock Strike. Organised by trade unionist Jim Larkin, the dockers and carters went on strike when employers refused to recognise their newly formed union, the National Union of Dock Labourers.
The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) were ordered to escort the strike-breaking drivers hired by the employers to replace the strikers. Constable William Barrett refused to do so and was suspended as a result. In protest, 70% of the police force joined the strikers and mutinied, carrying Barrett aloft to the Custom House steps in Belfast city centre. The mutiny was put down by the authorities and Barrett was dismissed from his job.
For more information about the 1907 strike see the Worker’s Solidarity Movement.
Born in Bangor in 1887, Winifred Carney moved with her family to the Falls Road as a child. She became heavily involved in the Suffragette movement and interested in Socialism. Carney met James Connolly around 1912 when he was in Belfast assisting Jim Larkin with unionising workers. She was working for a trade union in York Street.
Carney became Connolly's secretary and in April 1916 she was one a few select people to be told about the planned Republican uprising in Dublin which would later become known as the Easter Rising. Carney was with Connolly and the other volunteers inside the GPO in Dublin until their arrest. She was responsible for typing the Irish Proclamation signed by the leaders of the rising.
For more information see the National Library of Ireland’s history of 1916.
Carney was interned for her role in the Easter Rising but released in December 1916. In later years she became involved with Sinn Féin and was elected president of Cumann Na mBan, the women's arm of the Irish Volunteers.
Carney married George McBride, a Protestant from the Shankill Road in 1928. Although from different backgrounds they shared a passion for socialism, equality and political activism. Carney died in 1943; her grave was erected and is managed by the National Graves Association.