Deputy Lord Mayor pays tribute to Dunne’s apartheid activists
Sinn Féin councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Larry O’Toole has paid tribute to Dunne’s Stores apartheid activists at a plaque unveiling outside Dunne’s Stores on Henry Street today.
After welcoming the strikers, their families, the family of the late Brendan Archbold and representatives of Mandate and Unite Trade Unions to the unveiling, Cllr O’Toole said:
“When Mary Manning refused to handle South African grapefruit at her check out in July 1984 she began what was to become a campaign of international solidarity.
She was supported by ten of her colleagues. Ten young women and one young man who put their lives on hold to champion the fight against apartheid. Another young man joined them from Dunne’s Stores in Crumlin. This led to the strike being officially sanctioned by their union IDATU now of course the Mandate Union.
Dublin was in the international spotlight for showing leadership and demonstrating solidarity with those struggling against the vicious apartheid regime in South Africa.
I myself was proud to visit the picket line regularly during the strike and stood in solidarity with the Dunne’s activists.
Their struggle led to the Irish Government issuing a ban on the importation of South African fruit and vegetables. It was an historic struggle that shined a light on workers solidarity and gathered massive international support.
Most of the strikers are here today for the unveiling of this plaque to commemorate their contribution to history and Dublin is very proud of them.
Sadly we lost their trade union organiser late year. Brendan Archbold was a true friend and fighter for these people and was passionate about ending apartheid and tackling racism. Today we also salute his memory.”