In 1934 a group of notable Dublin businessmen decided to combat the poverty all around them by setting up an unemployed men's 'club', wherein men could earn 'tallies' which they could exchange for food, clothing, fuel or furniture. They were very successful and, at its peak, during the Second World War, the club had 6,000 members working on its premises in Mount Street, on its farm in Clondalkin and in allotments in Merrion and Sydney Parade. The club was revolutionary in proving that men from the slums could make a constructive contribution to society and helped hundreds of unskilled workers gain employment. It was talked about in the Seanad and gained international attention from the likes of Sir William Beveridge (who developed Britain's welfare system). The work of the Mount Street Club evolved over the years, and in the 1970s and 1980s it supported start-up businesses and set up training schemes for the unemployed. It was incorporated as a Trust in 2006 and continues to work on projects which give support to those suffering from the effects of unemployment in the Greater Dublin area.
With over 150 facsimiles, photographs and documents of interest, this is a beautiful and entertaining insight into rich history and the impact of true philanthropy.
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Date of Publication: 16/08/2013