The building and the use of Irish inland waterways, by navvies and boatmen respectively, will be discussed at the May Day Labour History School, to be held at Athy Community Arts Centre on Saturday 30 April 2011. The events of the day (copied from here):
12pm-4.00pm: photographic exhibition commemorating the workers who built the canals and the boatmen who transported the goods throughout the canal network.
2pm-2.15pm: Official Opening of the Festival by the Mayor of Athy
2.15pm-4.00pm: series of talks examining the socio-economic and cultural impact that the opening of the canals had on provincial life. The typical life of the early navvies and boatmen will be brought to life, and the struggle for improvement in conditions leading to early Trade Union formation will also be explored.
8.00pm: A concert of Labour and Workers’ songs, featuring two of Dublin’s well-known balladeers, Tom Crean and Jimmy Kelly. The concert will be preceded by a Wine Reception at 7.30pm.
More details of the weekend here or here (PDF). I wouldn’t bother trying the SIPTU site: I couldn’t find the info there.