Rank and file prepare for return of Limerick exhibition

Alan Owens


Alan Owens

The iconic industrial landmark buildings of Ranks, which closed in 1983. An exhibition celebrating the industry returns to the city this Thursday
AN exhibition focusing on one of Limerick’s most iconic industries will return to life this week.

AN exhibition focusing on one of Limerick’s most iconic industries will return to life this week.

Ranks - A Limerick Industry, which was first held in 2012, returns to the city this week, with Mayor of the Metropolitan District Cllr Jerry O’Dea to launch it on Thursday evening in the Hunt Museum.

The exhibition, hosted by Limerick Museum and Archives, tells the story of Ranks, the landmark industrial buildings and their contribution to the social and economic history of the city through interpretative panels, photographs, documents and memorabilia.

Originally Limerick Mills, it was acquired by Ranks in 1930 and grew to one of the biggest flour mills in the State until it began to lose market share in the 1970s, eventually closing in 1983.

The exhibition tells the stories, memories and contributions of former Ranks workers and their families and how a world-class milling operation on the Dock Road became synonymous with Limerick. Mayor O’Dea said it would educate “a new generation about our industrial heritage” and preserve “the memories and contributions of the former Ranks workers and their families”.

“The massive concrete silos of Ranks Flour Mill are among the most iconic of industrial landmarks of this city and the wider region,” said Cllr Jerry O’Dea.

“They are as historically significant as the Shannon Scheme at Ardnacrusha, Mungret Cement Factory and Irish Wire factory on the Dock Road. And they are as recognisable and synonymous with this city as King John’s Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral or even Thomond Park.”

Jacqui Hayes, archivist, said one of the aims of the Ranks exhibition was “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”.

Ranks - A Limerick Industry opens this Thursday and runs until October 25.