Local Industries

The following are some details, which may give an idea of the extent and variety of the local industries, which have now become extinct. The following in an extract from Pigot's Directory for 1824: "In Tuam and its neighbourhood the manufacture of coarse linen is carried out to a considerable extent and there is a linen market held at the Connaught Hotel every Friday". (This hotel was situated at Bishop Street and was owned by one Michael Ormsby. It was also the stage for the Royal Mail). The same Directory refers to two tanneries - Hugh Delap's beside the Curragh Bridge and John Martin's which was at Little Mill Lane - but there were at least three others operating in the town in that year. In fact, Tuam was a very important centre of the tanning trade until late in the century and it is known that merchants from as far a field as Ballyhaunis, purchased their leather supplies there. Under the heading of Brewers, Slater's Directory of 1856 refers to John Carroll of High Street but this industry was probably on a very small scale. The principal brewery was that at the bridge in Shop Street in the premises now used as a hardware store by Mrs. Heskin. This brewery was founded at the beginning of the century by Mark Blake of Brooklawn. It operated until 1890, when, like many other breweries throughout the country it was forced out of business by the growing popularity of Guinness's porter. Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of 1846 refers to it as follows: "An extensive brewery, belonging to Mr. Blake, produces from 4,000 to 5,000 barrels of malt liquor annually attached to it are a malting concern, making about 600 quarters of malt".

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