General ration book

Despite the Free State’s neutrality, the country suffered some rationing during the war years

During the ‘Emergency’ the Free State had a rationing system like that in Great Britain. Sugar, tea, butter, margarine, bread, flour and clothing were among the many items for which ration tickets were required. Poor families were hardest hit by the restrictions as bread was a central part of their diet.

The most unpopular figure at the time was not Minister for Supplies Seán ‘half-ounce’ Lemass, but the notorious ‘glimmer man’ who went door-to-door to ensure that citizens were not using gas after hours.

Permanent Collection

Watch a video of the Declaration of the Republic, just one year later: