Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

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My ancestors - O'Mara - Contents


  Roches St addresses

London office

O'Mara's logos and ads



O'Mara's bacon company, Limerick




O'Mara's bacon factory, Roches St, Limerick.
Photo must be late 1980s (when it closed down).
Junction of Roches St and Anne St.
Anne St to the LHS goes down to Thomas St in the background.
Apparently Richard Ray's shop was just to RHS out of picture here.
Photo courtesy of Tony Punch. See full size.




O'Mara's bacon company, the source of generations of O'Mara family wealth.
Founded by James O'Mara in his house in Mungret St, Limerick, in 1839.
James is still in Mungret St in 1850.

James moved some time in 1850-1862 to Roches St, centre of new town, Limerick.
A dedicated factory was set up near top of Roches St.
The business is listed as "James O'Mara", "provision merchant", Roches St, in [Directory of Cork & Munster, 1867].
James and his sons Stephen O'Mara and Jack O'Mara built up the business over the 19th century into a great success.

Jim O'Mara was agent for O'Mara's in London from at least 1886 until he died 1893.
O'Mara's set up the Russian Bacon Company in 1891.
From 1891 to 1903 they imported bacon from the Russian Bacon Company, Gryazi, Russia into London.

James O'Mara was agent for O'Mara's in London from 1893 to 1914.
[Modern Ireland, 1899] describes Stephen O'Mara as then head of the company, says "nearly 100" people then employed at Roches St.
Stephen O'Mara bought bacon factory in Palmerston, Ontario, Canada.
Joe O'Mara went out to run it.

Jack O'Mara was manager of O'Mara bacon factory before his death 1919.
Stephen O'Mara was Managing Director of O'Mara Ltd as at 1923.
He founded bacon factory in Claremorris, Co.Mayo, 1930.
He founded bacon factory in Letterkenny, Co.Donegal.
Marcus O'Sullivan managed the Limerick factory c. late 1930s.

In 1938 the family business went public.
Bacon Company of Ireland formed, with Jack O'Mara as Managing Director, and subsidiaries the 3 bacon factories:

  1. O'Mara's bacon factory, Roches St, Limerick city.
  2. Bacon factory, Claremorris, Co.Mayo.
  3. Bacon factory, Letterkenny, Co.Donegal.
Marcus O'Sullivan was running the bacon factory in Claremorris, Co.Mayo, as at 1942.
Stephen O'Mara was Chairman of Bacon Company of Ireland at time of his death 1959.
Mickey O'Mara became Managing Director of Bacon Company of Ireland 1970.

In 1987 the Bacon Company of Ireland merged with other companies to form Irish Country Bacon. Mickey O'Mara stopped involvement.
Shortly afterwards the old O'Mara factory in Limerick finally closed, after 150 years.
In 1988 or 1989 the O'Mara factory was demolished, and the site sold, became a car park.
The site is now the multi-storey car park on the entire block bounded by Roches St, Anne St and Roche's Row.





The date "1839" marked on the factory.
Detail of image above.



Location of O'Mara's bacon factory, Roches St, Limerick (the block between Anne St and Roche's Row, see red cross).
From 1887 to 1913 map.
See modern map.



O'Mara's bacon factory, Roches St, Limerick.
Photo 1978.
Junction of Roches St and Anne St. Looking down Anne St towards Thomas St in the background.



The same location in 2009.
Junction of Roches St and Anne St. Looking down Anne St towards Thomas St in the background.
O'Mara's bacon factory is gone. Site is the car park building on RHS.
Photo 2009. See full size.
See similar shot. See other shot.



Street view of site of O'Mara's bacon factory (car park building).
Click to rotate.
From Google Street View.



Site of O'Mara's bacon factory (car park building).
Photo from Roches St.
Photo 2009. See full size.



Site of O'Mara's bacon factory (car park building on LHS).
Junction of Roches St and Roche's Row.
Photo 2009. See full size.
See wider shot.




Roches St addresses

Trying to make sense of the numbered addresses on Roches St:


  

O'Mara's letterhead, Limerick, 1886.
Shows the factory at 31 Roches St.
They were on the telegraph.
See larger and full size.


 
Roches St in [Guy's, 1893, vol.D, p.79].
Shows O'Mara's bacon factory (multiple locations between no.29 and no.42)
and Lynch and Spain (no.45) and Richard Ray (no.46).


 
Roches St in [Guy's, 1912, pp.80-81].
Shows Stephen O'Mara at the factory at no.33 (his house is elsewhere)
and Richard Ray at no.37 and Michael Spain at no.39-40.



James O'Mara shop at 37 Roches St.
Photo 1930s.
See full size. From Tipperary Archive. Tipperary Studies Photographic Collection.
This shows how confusing the numbers are. The Ray shop was no.37 in 1912, and then changed by 1913. Is this the old Ray shop of 1912, or was there a re-numbering?



The modern no.37 looks like the same building.
From street view.



Richard Ray shop at 41 Roches St.
Photo 1930s.
See full size. From Tipperary Archive. Tipperary Studies Photographic Collection.



The modern no.41 looks like the same building.
From street view.



The modern numbering. According to buildingsofireland.


  

London office

Jim O'Mara was agent for O'Mara's in London from at least 1886.
He liased with his brother Stephen O'Mara in Limerick. Stephen often travelled to London to work with Jim.

O'Mara's on Tooley St, London:
Jim wrote on 6 Oct 1886 from London to Stephen. He writes from the business of Francis E. Barnes, 47-48 Tooley St, London SE (see map), telephone no. 4618.
Stephen, in London on business, wrote to his wife on 18 and 19 Nov 1886 from the business of Francis E. Barnes, 47-48 Tooley St.

O'Maras got their own office on Tooley St.
Stephen, in London on business, wrote to his wife on 19 Oct 1888 from "Lalor, O'Mara and Horsfall", 21 Tooley St. Telephone no. 4515. Telegram address "O'Mara, London".
Jim sent a telegram to Stephen on 2 Apr 1889 from 49 Tooley St, London.
As at June 1890 the business "Lalor and O'Mara" was at 45 Tooley St, London, telephone no. 4515. See June 1890 London phone directory.
Undated letter in 1892 also shows letterhead of "Lalor and O'Mara" at 45 Tooley St.
Letterheads of 12-13 May 1892, 3 Feb 1893 are from "James O'Mara", 45 Tooley St, London, telephone no. 4515.

Jim died July 1893.
Stephen kept the London office running. He did not live in London though.
Stephen's son James O'Mara went to London as agent for O'Mara's, from 1893 to 1914.
James writes from 45 Tooley St, London, in letters of 2 Nov 1893 to 21 July 1894. Letterhead has the father's name on the business: "Stephen O'Mara", 45 Tooley St, telephone no. 4515.
James was living London when he married in April 1895.
Letterheads of 26-27 Mar 1896 and 1 Apr 1896 still have the father's name on the business: "Stephen O'Mara", 45 Tooley St, telephone no. 4515.

O'Mara's on Borough High St, London:
The O'Mara office moved to Borough High St (or Boro High St), Southwark, London (see map).
In letterhead of 28 Jan 1898 the O'Mara address is 3 Boro High St, London SE. Telephone no. 4515. Think this is an old letterhead. See the following.
In letterhead of 27 Jan 1898 the O'Mara address is 10 Boro High St, London SE. Telephone no. Hop 515. HOP was the telephone exchange for Southwark.
Letterheads of Feb 1898 are 10 Boro High St.
[P102/72] is letter of 6 Dec 1900 from James to The O'Rahilly. See image. From the business at 10 Boro High St, London. Telephone no. Hop 515.
James O'Mara is listed in 1901 London phone directory at 10 Boro High St, London. Telephone no. Hop 515.
James imported bacon from Romania and sold it in London.
He returned to Ireland in 1914.
See letter of 19 Jan 1914 where his father is not sure what to do with the London office, since James is coming back to Ireland.

  


Letterhead of O'Mara office, 21 Tooley St, London.
They were on the telephone and telegraph. Telephone no. 4515.
From letter of 19 Oct 1888.
See full size.



"Lalor and O'Mara", 45 Tooley St, London. Telephone no. 4515.
From June 1890 London phone directory.



O'Mara's letterhead, 1898.
Still telephone no. 4515.
See larger and full size.



James O'Mara letterhead when he was agent in London in 1900.
Telephone no. Hop 515.
See full size.



James O'Mara's business address, London.
Telephone no. Hop 515.
From 1901 London phone directory.





O'Mara's bacon company - logos and ads




"The English beef, the Welshman sheep,
The Scotchman haggis gnaws;
The Esquimo holds walrus fat
Between his greasy paws;
The Frenchman nibbles froggies' legs;
New Yorker's gobble clams,
But Irishmen who know what's what
Stick to O'Mara's Hams.
"

- Verse in booklet of O'Mara's centenary dinner, Savoy restaurant, Limerick, 11 Feb 1939.
The dinner included port from 1889 and cognac from 1839.





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