Historical archives bring Limerick’s past to life

TWO important historical archives with photographs, diaries and documents detailing life in Limerick and the mid-west from the early 20th century went on public display.

Photographs taken by Franz Sebastian Haselbeck, which went on display at the Hunt Museum include pictures of Home Rule meetings, farmers’ demonstrations and meetings of volunteers leading up to the War of Independence.

The Haselbeck family came from Germany and settled in Limerick in the early part of the 19th century.

The collection also includes pictures of the construction of the Shannon Scheme.

This is where Franz Haselbeck recorded work on the huge hydroelectric power station at Ardnacrusha.

Mr Haselbeck worked as an interpreter for the Siemens engineers on the site.

The collection has been restored by the ESB archives department and Patricia Haselbeck, a granddaughter of Franz Haselbeck.

Ms Haselbeck said she promised her grandfather shortly before his death that she would preserve his collection of photographs and bring it to public prominence.

In another ceremony in Limerick yesterday, the diaries and photographs of Cecil Mercier, a former manager at Ranks Mills for over 40 years were presented to the Limerick City Archives.

Limerick’s milling tradition dated back to the 13th century and Ranks took over mills at the Dock Road in the 1930s employing generations of city families.

Limerick City Archivist, Jacqui Hayes, said it was an important addition to the city archives because Ranks Mills had such an impact on the economic and social development of Limerick.

Mayor Maria Byrne hosted a reception for former Ranks workers and their families to mark the occasion.


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