Posts from the �s’ category

Alex Findlater and Co. Tea Chest, 1940s

Findlater's sign

Findlater’s was a well-known Dublin grocer’s

Alex Findlater and Co. started life in 1823, trading whiskey, wine and beer. The company expanded rapidly, adding general groceries to its alcohol trade, and became a major institution, with branches all over the city. Ultimately, pressure from supermarkets became too much for Findlaters’ more traditional service – as William Findlater had predicted at a 1902 staff meeting:

Findlaters stout

“This brings up the question of packet goods, which is one of the curses of the trade, unless they bear our own brand. If this is encouraged much further it will mean the passing out of the grocer, and he will be replaced by a mere hander-out of packet goods, or, we will have nothing but girls behind our counters, which may be unpleasant to many of the young men present!”

With thanks to Alex Findlater

Fianna Fáil Election Posters, 1948

Fianna Fail skipper

Fianna Fáil had a tangled birth in the Civil War and first took power in 1932

Sinn Féin split into pro-and Anti-Treaty factions, with de Valera leading the Anti-Treaty faction. Anti-treaty Sinn Féin boycotted the Dáil for several years after the end of the Civil War until a faction around Éamon de Valera split and created Fianna Fáil. They first came to power in 1932 and were long the most popular party in Ireland.

The 1948 election was controversial as Éamon de Valera introduced the Electoral Amendment Act, which was seen as an attempt to ensure the continued dominance of Fianna Fáil. But de Valera failed to retain power after the other parties joined together to create the first coalition government.

Permanent Collection

Éamon de Valera with Dr. Alan Thompson and Dr. Bethal Solomons, 1947

Eamonn de Valera and Bethel Solomons

A rare photograph of then-Taoiseach Éamon de Valera smiling

In this photograph, de Valera is being greeted by Dr. Bethal Solomons at the Rotunda Bicentenary Congress.

Dr. Solomons was “a world famous obstetrician and gynaecologist, rugby international, horseman, leader of liberal Jewry and of Irish literary and artistic renaissance.” Master of the Rotunda Hospital, he won ten caps on the Irish rugby team, was the first president of the Liberal Synagogue in Dublin, and was even mentioned in Finnegans Wake.

With thanks to the Rotunda Hospital

Watch a video about Éamon de Valera  and Bethal Solomons:

Clery’s Box, 1941

Clery 1941

Clery’s Department Store is an intstantly recognisable Dublin shop

A box from Clery’s tailoring department in 1941. Clery’s was founded as ‘The New or Palatial Mart’ in 1853, bought over and renamed by M. J. Clery in 1883.

The current building – which is modelled on Selfridge’s of London – dates from 1922, the original having been destroyed during the Easter Rising. In 1943, this much-loved department store was taken over by the Guiney family, who also owned the nearby Guiney’s department store.

Permanent Collection

Flyer for Blackrock Baths, 1949

Blackrock baths flyer, 1949

The Blackrock Baths were hugely popular for much of the twentieth century

The Blackrock Baths was created following public outcry at access to the sea being cut off by the building of the Dublin-Kingstown railway line in 1834. Hugely popular, the baths often witnessed displays by Dublin’s great high-diving and springboard-diving champion, Eddie Heron.

During the 1980s the baths fell into disuse and were later dismantled and sold to a private firm.

Permanent Collection

Archbishop McQuaid appointed, 1940

Archbishop McQuaid is to lead the conservative Irish church for many years

John Charles McQuaid is appointed Archbishop of Dublin. With the power of the Church behind him, the conservative cleric wields huge influence for the next 30 years.

There was no aspect of life in Ireland that escaped his eye – he even lobbied to get the new film version of Ulysses banned. It does, however, have the dubious distinction of being the first film ever to use the F-word.

Irish Independent, 1940

Bombs fall in Dublin and Monaghan

Despite Ireland’s neutrality, the country was bombed several times during the war years

Here the Irish Independent details the events of December 20th, 1940 when unidentified aircraft dropped bombs on Counties Dublin and Monaghan.

Ireland chose to remain neutral in the Second World War, but there was still a fear that the country could be attacked. A state of emergency was declared (hence ‘the Emergency’), and gas masks were made widely available. Despite Ireland’s neutrality, 28 people were killed in the 1941 North Strand bombings. In 1958, the West German government paid £327,000 in compensation to the Irish government.

Permanent Collection