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Boom-time for Irish Christmas turkey sales
Carts full of turkeys queuing on the quays in Waterford city Photo: National Library of Ireland, PWP552

Boom-time for Irish Christmas turkey sales

Enniscorthy, 19 December 1917 - Irish turkeys are selling for record prices this year.

With Christmas approaching, turkeys are currently reaching prices of £3 [£190 in 2016] a pair at the Leinster markets, with one vendor in Enniscorthy reporting a high of £3 10s.

The reason for the high prices is the number being exported; 8,000 turkeys were shipped to Britain last week from farms in north Wexford alone, with a good deal of common fowl - as well as goose and ducks - also finding a market there. Scarcity of grain and other foods, together with the seasonal Christmas demand, are factors fuelling the growth in turkey exports.

This growth in exports is set against the backdrop of increasing shortages of butter, milk and flour around the country due to the ongoing war. The extent of the crisis has led one Claremorris merchant to state that ‘England is prepared to starve Ireland’.

[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.]


Century Ireland

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