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    Rationing in Emergency Ireland, 1939-48

    Bryan, Ciaran (2014) Rationing in Emergency Ireland, 1939-48. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The Second World War was the deadliest and most widespread conflict in human history. It resulted in a huge loss of human life, massive material destruction and brought about a rearrangement of the world’s geopolitical landscape. While Ireland remained neutral during the Emergency (Ireland’s vernacular for the Second World War), the country and its population could not escape the knock-on effects of the conflict. Although spared the human and material losses endured by other nations, Ireland’s economy was severely dislocated. Securing imports for agriculture and industry became difficult; industrial production was reduced and the nature of employment affected. The inventory of consumer goods available on the open market was drastically cut and shortages led to price increases. Consequently, the standard of living fell and the prevalence of diseases associated with malnutrition increased. Extraordinary times called for extraordinary measures; the Irish government assumed an exceptional set of dictatorial-like powers under the Emergency Powers Act (EPA), 1939. This act formed the basis for government control which extended to all facets of life in Emergency Ireland including censorship, internment, travel restrictions, and rationing measures. Although repealed in September 1946, many of the controls introduced under the EPA (as well as the conditions which necessitated their introduction) remained in force for many years afterwards. Poverty increased in Ireland during the Emergency, and in urban areas it was endemic. This elicited a whole host of responses from governmental, institutional, and public quarters and produced new ways of thinking about food, health, and the state’s responsibility to its citizens. A rich social history that is reflective of the wider wartime experience thus emerges from the period.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Rationing; Emergency Ireland; 1939-48;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > History
    Item ID: 9130
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2018 13:19
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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