Recent Acquisitions

Ration book issued to Miss Jane Harvey

This is one of nine ration books salvaged from a skip in the town of Ennis in the early 1990s. During the Emergency, as the Second World War was known in Ireland, every individual was issued with a ration book, and rationing continued long after the end of the war. Commodities rationed during the war included tobacco, tea, sugar, flour, soap and clothing. These items were scarce as they needed to be imported, but unlike the United Kingdom, eggs and meat were not rationed as people had their own animals to provide these necessities. Inside each ration book were several pages of instructions in both Irish and English followed by pages of numbered squares, either marked by the product name (Flour, Tea, etc) or containing a letter to be used for different purchases. Space was also provided for keeping details of when, where and what was purchased.

This ration book was issued in 1948 to Miss Jane Harvey, an Irish teacher at the nearby Colaiste Muire, who resided at the Queens Hotel in Abbey Street, Ennis. Established between 1875 and 1880 JA Murdoch was the original proprietor of the Queen’s Hotel. During the 1920s it was the property of the Marshall family who sold it to the McKaigney family. It is currently owned and run by Bob and Angela Lyne. The Queen’s Hotel has a strong literary association as the location where Bloom’s father Rudolph took an overdose and died in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Inside this ration book is a page for shopkeepers receipts containing handwritten entries for Lipton Ltd and Monahan’s. Lipton’s, a general grocers, came to Ennis in 1886 and occupied the premises currently held by the Ennis Bookshop. Monahan’s was a bakery located at the top of Parnell Street.

Ref: 2007.34

World War II: An Archive of World War II Memories
Ireland in the 1930s - 1940s
Index to Biographical Notices 1935-1985: McInerney (Michael) to McMahon (Johanna)
Bassett's Directory, 1875-6: Part 2: Ennis: Trades, Businesses and Professions
Bassett's Directory, 1880-1: Part 3: Ennis: Trades, Businesses and Professions
Guy's Directory, 1893: Part 5: Postal Directory: Ennis: Merchants, Shopkeepers, Trades

Ration book issued to Miss Jane Harvey, Ref: 2007.34

Ration book issued to Miss Jane Harvey, Ref: 2007.34