James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker Samuel Beckett Sam Hanna Bell William Carleton John Hewitt Rosamond Praegar Bernard (Barney) Hughes

William Walker (1871 - 1918):
Trade unionist and socialist


William Walker was self-educated and at an early age became a founder and leader of the Independent Labour Party in Belfast. He often addressed crowds at the Custom House steps in the 1890s. His particular blend of Labour/Unionism became known as Walkerism. He organised the Carpenters' and Joiners' Union, worked on behalf of unskilled unions and women textile workers, and gained prominence in the Trades Council. In 1898 he was elected Poor Law Guardian and became a city councillor in 1904, when he was also elected President of the Irish Trade Union Congress. In 1905 he stood for the North Belfast parliamentary by-election, but was defeated following his endorsement of an anti-Catholic questionnaire, by which he lost Catholic votes. He stood in the general election of 1906, 1907 and 1910, but remained unsuccessful. He was in favour of the British Labour Party organising in Ireland, which brought him into conflict with Nationalists in the Labour movement, especially Larkin and Connolly. He became involved in a controversy with Connolly regarding socialism and nationalism, conducted through the letter page of the Glasgow newspaper, Forward. In 1912 he was appointed Inspector of the National Insurance Scheme for the north-east.



Born: 9 January 1871
Died: 23 November 1918
Kate Newmann