Ranks exhibition returns to Limerick’s Hunt Museum

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Jacqui Hayes, Archivist, Limerick Museum and Archives, Cllr Jerry O'Dea, Mayor of the Metropolitan District and Naomi O'Nolan, Hunt Museum at the launch of the Ranks exhibition. Below, the iconic industrial landmark buildings of Ranks in the city, which closed in 1983. Picture: Keith Wiseman
AN exhibition focusing on one of Limerick city’s “defining industries” has returned to museum walls this week, with the added intention of collecting further memories through an oral history project.

AN exhibition focusing on one of Limerick city’s “defining industries” has returned to museum walls this week, with the added intention of collecting further memories through an oral history project.

Ranks – A Limerick Industry, which was first held in 2012, was opened by Mayor of the Metropolitan District, Cllr Jerry O’Dea, this Thursday evening in the Hunt Museum.

The original exhibition, focussing on the iconic group of buildings that were located on the Dock Road in the city, attracted the highest number of visitors to any temporary exhibition in the Hunt when it was originally held several years ago.

The popular exhibition focused largely on the stories, memories and contributions of former Ranks workers and their families, detailing how the flour mills became synonymous with Limerick over a more than 50 year period.

Jacqui Hayes, archivist with Limerick Museum and Archives, who are hosting the exhibition in collaboration with the Hunt and with support by the Heritage Council, said Ranks and its grain ships were “a crucial part of Limerick life over a span of several decades and its legacy provides an excellent example of life and work in Limerick’s recent past”.

“Milling along with clothing and the bacon factories were the defining industries of Limerick and this exhibition is revisiting Ranks again to recognise the role that industry plays in a successful city, on the footprint it leaves on the cityscape and in the hearts and minds of the families who worked there for generations,” she explained.

“We hope to capture more of these memories through an oral history project that will run throughout the month of the exhibition and to engage with people on their view of the future of work in Limerick,” she added.

Dr Hugh Maguire, Hunt director, said the museum was “delighted to re-visit this theme” with the exhibition, which is supported by the Heritage Council.

“It was originally a collaborative effort and it showed what we could achieve together through outside support and collaboration,” he explained.

The exhibition runs until October 25. See the Hunt Museum website for more details.