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Munitions work for Ireland
Scottish women making shells for the war effort. TP O'Connor wants Ireland to have its share of this type of work. Photo: Illustrated London News [London, England], 3 July 1915

Munitions work for Ireland

London, 29 July 1915 - Ireland is ready and willing to play her part in providing material for the war effort, the House of Commons heard today.

The Irish nationalist MP, T.P. O’Connor said the government must ensure that Ireland got a full share of munitions work, both on patriotic and commercial grounds.

T.P. O'Connor has called for Ireland to get its fair share of munitions work. (Image: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540)

Mr O'Connor highlighted the scale of Mr Lloyd George's ambition for delivering munitions. He continued by saying that it was clear the resources available in Ireland were much larger than had been imagined or suspected by government. He appealed to Mr. Lloyd George to treat Ireland the same way as he had other parts of the United Kingdom and to rely on local assistance and local direction.

Lloyd George's response

Mr. Lloyd George, the Minister for Munitions, said that he plans to establish a central office in Dublin to oversee engineering operations in Ireland.

He added that the engineering resources of the island were currently being surveyed and they would soon be in a position to say precisely what role Ireland would fulfill.

A type written report of Captain Kelly’s visit to Ireland to investigate the situation with regards to munitions. Click to see full document. (Image: National Library of Ireland, MS 15.261)

Mr. Lloyd George said that the Irish role may not necessarily be turning out shells: ‘So far as I am able to see from the reports I have had up to the present, there are parts of Ireland which would be very useful in turning out fuses or some other component parts of the shells, although they could not turn out the whole of them.’

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.