The history and heritage of Carrick on Suir is worth talking about!
COSBA sponsor weekly guided walking tours of Carrick, by Tom Walsh. Each Wednesday for the months of July and August. How much do you know about your own town?
PLUNDER & POLLACK (IRELAND) LTD. – IRISH LEATHERS
In 1938 the tannery in Carrick-on-Suir was opened under the name of Plunder & Pollack (Ireland) Ltd. It later changed to Industrial & Commercial Holdings and finally to Irish Leathers.
The first directors were Fred Hitschmann, R. Hitschmann, George Dwyer of Cork, E. Rohan of Midleton, Jack O’Connor, an accountant from Cork, Commander George Crosbie of the Cork Examiner together with Joseph Dowley (Secretary) and Willian Dowley of Carrick-on-Suir. The Managing Director was Fred Hitschmann who was a Czechoslovakian Jew who fled Europe ahead of the Nazi occupation. In 1941 the tannery employed 250 people in Carrick and had an interest in tanneries in New Ross and Ballytore, Co. Kildare.
Plunder and Pollack continued to do well into the 1960′s and at that time bought the Imperial Hotel on the South Mall in Cork as well as the Southern Lake Hotel in Waterville, Co. Kerry. In the 1960′s a further synthetic company called Feresflex was opened in Carrick and Cecil Tyndall was appointed Managing Director. This was a subsidiary of Plunder & Pollack (Ireland) Ltd.
In the 1960′s there was also an amalgamation of the four leather factories in Carrick, Portlaw, Gorey and Dungarvan into the new publically quoted company Irish Leathers Ltd. The headquarters was in the old Malcolmson premises in Portlaw. This amalgamation resulted in continued prosperity for the leather industry. However, Joe Dowley died in 1971 and William Dowley in 1974. By the late 1970′s cheap leather from South America heralded the demise of Irish Leathers. In 1985 they went into receivership and the shareholders eventually received nothing. (excerpt from www.dowleyhistory.com)
First people of Carrick to be employed by the Tannery (photo-N. Duggan) /Shareholders/Directors at 1967 AGM in Carrick (Dowley History)
Brief History of Carrick-on-Suir
Founded in the 13th century, Carrick-on-Suir is a market town immersed in history with its 15th century Ormond Castle Twin Tower remnants fronted by Ireland’s only 16th century significant unfortified Tudor Manor House; to the Heritage Centre, site of the town’s first 13th century St. Nicholas of Myra Church.
The name Carrick-on-Suir comes from the Irish translation of Carraig na Siuire which means the “Rock of the Suir. Carrick as a settlement may have been founded by the gaelic “Deisi” tribe who at one point ruled the whole of Waterford as well as south-east Tipperary. They fended off the Vikings and local raiders until about the late 12th century when the Normans arrived and ultimately shattered their power for ever.
Carrick was one of seven walled towns in County Tipperary developed by the Anglo Normans following their conquest of Ireland in the 12th century. In medieval times, Carrick was the largest town in the county with 36 acres of land enclosed by the town wall. Parts of the town wall are still to be seen in the Ormonde Castle and Castleview Tennis Club areas. The town was initially named Carraig MacGriffin after Matthew Fitzgriffin, Lord of the Tudor Manor.