herald

Saturday 1 October 2016

Did your granny make bombs for WWI?

HISTORY

Local historians are searching for people whose grandmothers may have worked in Dublin munitions factories during World War I.

History groups are coming together to discover more about "an almost forgotten local industry" at a set of talks next week.

During WWI the Dublin Dockyard Munitions Company operated in Dublin Port, employing just under 200 local women and girls. War-time legislation stated that only 5pc of a munitions' manufacturing workforce could be male, so in the Dublin Docklands this provided an employment opportunity for local women.

Historian Hugo McGuinness, who will deliver the talk, expressed his delight at hearing and sharing stories on "a significant development in local industry almost lost to history".

target

The initial target had been to produce 2,000 shells per week, but production soon reached 3,000. The events will take place next Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm and 8pm respectively and are free of charge.

Joe Mooney (pictured), of the East Wall History Group, explained how they are "encouraging people to share their own family stories, passed on from their mammies or grannies".

One woman who worked in the munition factory was local Mary Johnson, just a teenager when she took up her post and she also worked in a munition factory in Birmingham. Her career path changed and she ended up years later as a dancer in the Tivoli.

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