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Youghal bakery charged with selling barm brack
Detail of a wartime poster warning against using too much wheat Photo: © IWM (Art.IWM PST 4470)

Youghal bakery charged with selling barm brack

Cork, 16 April 1917 - A Youghal bakery – Pasley and Co. Ltd – has been charged with selling barm bracks in direct contravention of the Bread Order 1917.

Youghal Petty Sessions heard yesterday that the firm had continued to sell barm bracks despite the fact that the Order prohibits the production of cakes. The bakery’s defence centred on the fact that they claimed not to realise brack was a cake, instead considering it to be a type of bread.

This was contradicted by an expert witness Mr A.C. Reilly, who has 30 years of experience in the industry, who stated before the court that ‘by no stretch of the imagination could barm bracks be called bread’.

After hearing the case, however, Sir Henry Blake dismissed the charge saying that the order in question had yet to be published and as such it could not be acted upon. He appealed to bakeries to limit the amount of cakes they produced as flour was extremely scarce and would be better used in bread.

The prohibition, when it comes into effect, means that afternoon tea in hotels and eateries will effectively be banned.

[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.