GALWAY MANUFACTURES

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

Coarse linen was formerly manufactured to some extent: it was generally of the kind called bandle linen, but the fabric was not good. The principal markets for it were Loughrea and Tuam, where also a considerable quantity of linen yarn was sold. A diaper manufacture flourished for some time, but is also extinct. In Connemara some fine linen was manufactured, and a large quantity of coarse, the latter chiefly for domestic use. Canvas for bags is in good demand; a very coarse kind is bought at Tuam, for packing wool: large quantities also are sent to Cork, Waterford, and Limerick, for packing bacon for exportation.

The woollen manufacture consists chiefly of flannels and friezes for home sale. A considerable quantity of white friezes and caddow blankets is manufactured and sold at Galway and Loughrea, and in the neighbourhood of the former of these towns flannels are woven to a large extent. Knit woollen stockings are made and sold in Connemara, to the amount of nearly £10,000 per annum: the wool is peculiarly fine, and they possess a much greater degree of softness and elasticity than any woven stocking, but from being made only of a single thread, they afford but little wear.

The manufacture of kelp, commenced about the year 1700, was very general, and tolerably productive: when first exported it sold from 14s. to 16s. per ton, and gradually rose in price to £13 per ton: about 10,000 tons of it were annually made in Connemara, but the removal of the duty on salt has nearly destroyed the trade, and the weed is now sold as manure. Paper is manufactured in the town of Galway, and a good deal of it sent to the Dublin market. There is also in that town a considerable manufacture of black marble chimney-pieces, much prized as being wholly free from white marks. Tobacco pipes and coarse pottery are also made there, and at Creggs and Dunsandle.

Coarse felt hats and straw bonnets are made at Loughrea, and some other places. The trade in grain employs 23 flour-mills, six oatmeal-mills, and two malt-mills in Galway town alone; and there are twelve other large flour-mills in different places. After supplying the home demand, the rest of the produce is sent to Dublin, to the amount of about 12,000 tons annually, from the Galway mills.

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