Redmond, Séamus (1925–96), trade unionist, was born 9 February 1925 in the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, second son to James Redmond, company sergeant, and Mary Redmond (née McLoughlin). He was raised in the Curragh and Spike Island and later moved to Whitehall, Dublin. Educated at the Presentation Brothers School, Cobh, Co. Cork, he later received a diploma from the National College of Art and Design. At eighteen he went into service with the Irish army at Portobello Barracks, Dublin, and later joined the Cavalry Corps and the Irish Marine Service. He later joined the Organisation of National Ex-servicemen and in 1957 became its national secretary. He spent six years with the ONE, during which he founded and edited its newspaper, The Flag. In 1945 he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and was stationed in Palestine for three years.
On his return to Ireland in 1948 he began working as a traffic inspector in the Dublin Port and Docks Board. In 1963 he became secretary of the no. 3 branch of the Marine Port and General Workers’ Union (MPGWU). After this he was appointed chairman of the Dublin Port and Docks Board group of trade unions and vice-chairman of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) group of trade unions, and became a member of the advisory board of the National College of Industrial Relations. In 1970 he took the position of full-time secretary of the Dublin no. 4 branch and became involved in the Dublin trades council. He was elected general secretary of the MPGWU in 1973, a position he held till his retirement in 1991.
He led the union with conviction and zeal through a troubled period. As a firm believer in the right of workers to change unions if they wished, he immediately ran into difficulty. A dispute in 1973 with the National Engineering and Electrical Trade Union over ‘poaching’ members led to the MPGWU's disaffiliation from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. In 1977 the union won notoriety when a dispute with the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU), over the transfer of membership in the Ferenka plant in Limerick, led to the factory's closure. Due to changes in the constitution of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) in 1982, he led the union back into Congress.
He was greatly concerned with social issues and in the 1980s he established a committee within the union to investigate drug-abuse prevention in Dublin. He always maintained his interest in art and set up an art group within the union, which held over thirty exhibitions. His interest in labour history led him to write a history of the union (which, due to his sudden death, is incomplete), as well as serving on the Irish Labour History Society Committee in 1993. He also gave many addresses on industrial relations and wrote many controversial articles.
A diligent and respected trade-union leader, he always made time for union members. As a perfectionist who had an eye for detail, he dressed impeccably and was known for sporting bow ties. He married (1950) Teresa Smith and they lived in Dublin with their son and two daughters till his sudden death on 10 January 1996.