IRISH PHOTO ARCHIVE

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Friday, 9 January 2015

Carrick-on-Shannon

Emerald Star are well known in Ireland for providing rental cruisers for people wanting to holiday along the Shannon. From their base in Carrick-on-Shannon, they have gone on to conquer the cruise liner market not just in Ireland, but also in the UK and across Europe.

In 1987, new customer service facilities were launched at Emerald Star’s base in Carrick. Some of the VIPs hosted at the launch by Mr Bodell, Chairman of Emerald Star, included: John Wilson, TD; Brian Slowey, MD of Guinness; and Michael McDonnell from the Department of Tourism.

The launch of the new Emerald Star customer facilities in Carrick-on-Shannon
8 June 1987
Carrick-on-Shannon had always been an important port for Guinness, as it connected the canal network with the Shannon, and the west of Ireland. Bodell was also a trustee of the Iveagh Trust, and operated as its chairman from 1999-2003, so there were strong connections between the two companies for a long time.

Another important player on the Leitrim industrial scene was General Plastics. The establishment of the factory was part of the IDA push to encourage firms from overseas to set up branches in Ireland, taking advantage of our proximity to the European market and readily available labour force. The Carrick-on-Shannon factory manufactured electrical products that were encased in moulded plastic, such as the hairdryers shown in this photograph.

Mary Cassidy and Elizabeth Moran making hairdryers at the General Plastics factory
10 April 1964 

But the river was always the life source for Carrick. The town was built at a strategic crossing point of the Shannon, which meant it became an important trading point. The river provided employment, food and leisure, as the longevity and prowess of the Carrick-on-Shannon Rowing Club, founded in 1854. 

The quay at Carrick-on-Shannon
10 April 1964


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