Séamus Ó Maitiú
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Séamus Ó Maitiú


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Track 1: Séamus Ó Maitiú recalls his youth and education in Rathmines, and teaching courses in history for colleges. His research interest is in the area of industry in the Dublin region. In 2001 he published a book, W. and R. Jacob – Celebrating 150 Years of Irish Biscuit Making, on the history of Jacobs, and he discusses this project. Track 2: Séamus provides a brief synopsis of the history of Jacobs biscuit-making, starting in Waterford in the late 1850s, later moving to Bishop Street in Dublin having bought a coach-building yard there, and eventually taking over an entire block. He also discusses the Jacobs/Bewleys business partnership. Track 3: Jacobs was always a family concern, Séamus explains, with an emphasis on the promotion of health and well-being among its employees. Memories of the variety of biscuit brand names, which reflected events of note occurring at the time, are provided, as are details of the biscuit ingredients and their suppliers. Track 4: The 1913 lockout at Jacobs, which was caused by workers’ refusal to handle flour supplies which had come from Shackleton’s Mill in Lucan, is recalled. The traumatic events of 1916, during which Jacobs was taken over by revolutionaries, are also described. Track 5: A discussion with the late Gordon Lambert is recalled, during which he asserted that Irish government policy was culpable in the loss of business for Jacobs, arising from the restrictions on exports, resulting in the transfer of all export business to the Jacobs factory in Liverpool in the late 1930s. An anecdote is told, relating to the Emergency years when George Jacob was fatally injured in a tragic motor accident. The new era of competition with the arrival of Boland’s Biscuits, is described, as is the eventual takeover of this business. The move to the newly-built factory in Tallaght is recalled and described.

Additional information



Audio series:

W. and R. Jacob Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

5.67 MB, 6.12 MB, 8.47 MB, 9.20 MB, 8.28 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Historian, W. and R. Jacob

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore