Mick Lynch says Irish people have told him his message is ‘really resonating’

The leader of a UK transport union says he has been told by Irish people that his message “really resonates” with them and they want to see the same message from their own unions and politicians.

Ick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, rose to prominence in June after conducting a series of media interviews about a rail workers’ strike over wages and conditions – the biggest rail strike in a generation .

Mr Lynch – whose father left the city of Cork in 1941 to travel to the UK to find work and whose mother is from Co Armagh – is in Cork this weekend.

He spoke to the Second Captains program on Saturday about his sporting loyalties, Irish heritage and unionism.

Asked if he had been recognized during his trip, Mr Lynch said: “Yes, there were a few selfies”.

He added: “I’ve got a hat on, I’m trying to hide a little bit, but there are a few people who are like, ‘Are you Mick Lynch?’ and all that.

“In the first bar I walked into, the bartender said, ‘Are you Mick Lynch,’ and a couple of people came up to me.

“It’s very nice that people want to say hello and it’s nice what they say.

“They say, ‘Keep going,’ ‘What you’re doing really matters to us,’ and ‘Can you keep going like this?’

“People have asked me to come back and speak at various events, which is all very good. So I hope to keep this all going.”

He said: “But I’m very aware that if something goes wrong or the tide turns a little against you, your stock can be high one week and very low the next week.”

Mr Lynch said the RMT union was “pleased” with the public response to their message in the UK and internationally, “including in Ireland”.

He added: “A lot of people have reached out to us and said it was inspirational and they want the same from their unions and from their politicians because people are struggling in many areas of society.”

Speaking on the program about his Irish roots, Mr Lynch said there was a strong Irish contingent in the area of ​​west London where he grew up, nicknamed ‘County’ Kilburn.

He said: “We’ve always been in unions, we just did that. For us it was the same as going to mass. Being a union activist was like being from west London.”

Speaking about joining the railways union, Mr Lynch said he initially aimed to keep a low profile but that “the gift of gossip prevailed” and he began recruiting people into the union when the railways were privatised.

“Sometimes when you see a ball, you should kick it,” he said.

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