September 25th, 1946
FROM THE ARCHIVES:Dubliners abandoned their offices and factories for the fields in 1946 to help save the harvest, threatened by bad weather, and avoid a winter of food shortages in the aftermath of the second World War.
OVER 5,000 harvest volunteers left the Dublin bureaux yesterday morning for six counties, and for the first time in the campaign transport and workers were adequate to meet the demand.
Many business firms are to close, to release their employees for work in the fields. The standing council of the Retail Grocery, Dairy and Allied Trades Association decided last night that all grocery shops in South Dublin would shut next Monday, all in North Dublin would close all day Tuesday, and those in Dun Laoghaire all day Wednesday. Dairy shops in these districts are being asked to close from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the [opening] hours, assistants are to serve only milk, and no groceries.
It is estimated that the total number of workers released on these three days will be about 5,000. Messrs. Johnston, Mooney and O’Brien’s will close two departments to-morrow and Friday. One hundred of their bakers have also volunteered to give up their half-day for work. The Ever Ready Battery Co. is paying its employees to do harvest work during the three days for which it usually releases them each year without pay.
The Abbey Confectionery Co., Dublin, is closing down for this week, and it is understood that several large drapery establishments will close for at least a day next week. Messrs. Clarnico Murray’s will close on Friday. The Dublin Chamber of Commerce yesterday appealed to all employers to encourage employees to volunteer. All premises in Bray will be closed to-day.A feature of yesterday’s effort was the large number of firms who organised parties complete with transport, and among these were the Dublin Port and Docks Board, Browne and Nolans, Arthur Guinness, Mountjoy Brewery, K. and S., and Dollards. The civilians were augmented by 300 troops and 90 Civic Guard cadets. One hundred and eight teachers took part.
Loudspeaker police cars calling for helpers toured the city streets, and officials said that the response was magnificent and the greatest yet. They expect over 6,000 to-day, and the Irish Red Cross were busy yesterday preparing about 24,000 sandwiches.
“Remarkable progress has been made during the past two days,” said Mr. M. O’Connor, director of the Dublin Bureau. “About 15 per cent of the Co. Dublin crops are already saved, but there is heavy work still ahead. About 85 per cent. of the corn in East Co. Dublin and 60 per cent in the north and north-west of the county is still in stooks. We need many more volunteers.” Over 2,000 troops were taking part in the drive throughout the whole country, a Department of Defence spokesman said. Over 50 lorries had been made available. Flying columns were operating in the Athlone and Mullingar areas.