The O’Mara Papers at UL relate to the business and personal records of Stephen O’Mara Junior (1884-1959).
The O’Maras were a prominent Limerick family, and ran the famous O’Mara’s Bacon Company. The material provides an interesting view of the bacon industry in early 20th-century Ireland and its gradual decline from the 1930s onwards.
O’Mara’s personal records cover his political career, including his three terms as Mayor of Limerick from 1921 to 1923; the second Bond Drive to the United States, his subsequent imprisonment in 1922-1923 and the ensuing court case of 1927; and his later political involvement, particularly his role as a founding director of The Irish Press.
Other material of note includes extensive correspondence and architectural drawings relating to Strand House, New Strand House and Ivy Bank House, homes of the O’Mara family.
The collection also includes extensive correspondence between O’Mara and his sister-in-law, Limerick author, Kate O’Brien. The letters illuminate O’Brien’s method of writing, the creative process behind each of her novels and the ups and downs of her career as author.
The material also comprises an extensive photographic record of the O’Mara and O’Brien families particularly in the 1920s and 1930s.
The collection was generously donated to the University of Limerick by Stephen O’Mara’s granddaughter Clare Hannigan née O’Mara.
We have some original archival items on display on the ground floor of the Glucksman Library. The exhibition will run for the entirety of the Autumn Semester, and the panels are also available online at https://specialcollections.ul.ie/omara-exhibition/.
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