Mr O'Dwyer's Woollen Factory near Ennistymon, 1873

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Sduddy
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Mr O'Dwyer's Woollen Factory near Ennistymon, 1873

Post by Sduddy » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:58 pm

Clare Freeman, Sat 20 Dec 1873:
The Ennistymon Woollen Factory.
These mills are situated on the bank of the Inagh, about half a mile eastward of the town. They belong to Mr P. J. O’Dwyer, of Ennistymon, a gentleman, who in this as well as in his many other commercial undertakings form a fine type of that enlightened spirit of enterprise which does not confine itself to the enriching of a private individual, but extends the scope of its influence to projects calculated also to confer great public benefits on the surrounding community. Except Mr O’Dwyer’s mills at Ennistymon, and Mr Cunnah’s at Killaloe, there is not, we believe, a similar factory in this county. It is a matter of surprise, as well as regret, that this pioneering spirity which discovers, or creates new fields of industry should be so rare in the south of Ireland, proverbial for the warm hearts and fertile imaginations of its people. The daring to adventure, the moral courage and love of work which so eminently characterizes the people of Ulster, and have raised them in material prosperity, and in other respects also, above the rest of Ireland, find few parallels in the south. Therefore, it is the more pleasing to advert to the few instances that occur. By ventilating a good example it may multiply itself. This factory of Mr O’Dwyer’s has been established only within the last half dozen years, and there are already some 20 looms. One half of these are power looms, worked by two large water-wheels, fed by the Inagh where there is sufficient water, and driven by steam-power when the water supply from the river fails. The factory possesses two steam engines of twenty horse-power. A large proportion of the machinery being self-acting, it does not require so large of number of workmen as would otherwise be necessary. Thirty hands are permanently engaged on the premises. The main building of the concern contains three floors one above the other and each froor is occupied with masses of complicated machinery for combing, purifying, carding, plesing[/], spinning and weaving. It was gratifying to observe as we did on the occasion of a recent visit the cheering sight of skilled activity and the din of machinery all cooperating in works of usefulness. The principal articles manufactured are chiefly woolen fabrics, blankets, friezes, flannels, &c. The raw material is introduced in all its rough, as it left the market, and turned out in finished cloth ready for the customer. There are at present 800 spindles; and probably the rapidly increasing business of the concern will soon require an increase in this number. The proprietor has very wisely and humanely determined upon building cottages for his workmen, adjoining the factory. Two of them are already completed, and appear to be most comfortable residences. It is but fair in connection with this subject to notice the extremely liberal action of the landlord, Captain Stacpoole, M.P., in encouraging home manufactures. When applied to for a site, on learning the purpose to which it was to be devoted, he promptly and generously gave a lease on terms, which must at present be considered as little more than nominal. Mr O’Dywer we understand exports a considerable quantity of these woollen fabrics to several parts of Ireland and even of England. The specimens we saw in the looms, and just taken from them were of the finest and most substantial kind. Such as would readily command a market anywhere.
Mr Cunnah’s marbleworks in Killaloe, and adjoining woolen factory, are mentioned here: https://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/cocla ... iption.htm

There was also a woolen mill in Sixmilebridge. The proprietor, in the 1860s at least, was Mr Daniel Keogh, as this notice in the Clare Journal, of Mon 18 May 1868, shows: "Marriage. At Kilmurry Church, by the Rev Father Menton, C C, Mr Daniel Keogh, proprietor of Annagore Frieze Mill, to Mary, second daughter of Mr Daniel Liddy, Rossroe, county Clare".

This site (Industrial Heritage Review of County Clare) shows the remains of some mills. Anagore is on page 18: https://www.clarecoco.ie/services/plann ... 8-5396.pdf

Sheila

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