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War is Women’s Business

Leaflet from the ‘Irish

Homestead’ from 13 January

1917 published to instruct

farmers on how to increase

their food supply Photo:

National Archives of Ireland,

CSO RP 1917 3608 3

Michael O’Leary Collection –

Food was in short supply due to German

submarine activity, the reluctance of the British

Government to intervene in the free market

and the nature of farming practices in Ireland

‘Exceptionally high prices mean practical

starvation for the poor ... self-reliance is the most

useful as well as the most practical motto’

Cork Examiner 3 November 1917

Poor Law Guardian Marie Lynch demanded

action to prevent the poor of the city


starving to sickness or to death’

Cork Examiner 23 January 1916

WW1 lumbered on in Europe, anti-Government feeling increased in light of the

executions and imprisonments after the Easter Rising. Cork was a city of contrasts –

A thriving industrial city with a vibrant social scene where theatres, cinemas,

concerts and Irish language classes were thriving but where, behind the city’s main

thoroughfares existed some of the worst slums in Europe. Families lived in abject

poverty, with

‘up to seven in a room’

. Alfred J Rahilly:

The Social Problem in Cork (1917)

War was ever present