Tough Times and Toffee in Sean McDermott Street
An illustrated talk by John Healy about the revolutionary northside publican who set up a toffee manufacturing business on Sean McDermott Street in 1924 and became a significant industrialist in the new Free State Ireland.
Originally from Derry, Liam Devlin bought his pub in Parnell Street in 1919 on returning from nearly twenty years in Scotland. Devlin’s Pub became Michael Collins’s unofficial HQ of Intelligence during the War of Independence. Though Devlin and his wife were both anti-treaty, he turned to his business skills as the best way to help build a new Ireland.
BB Toffee was the first venture by Liam Devlin, then in his mid-forties, into toffee manufacturing. The new factory opened in 1924 in Lower Gloucester Street, now Sean McDermott Street, in the area then known as The Monto, an area of acute deprivation. As many as 200 people were employed there. Welcome employment at a tough time.
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