Ireland and rubber

Published in 18th–19th - Century History, 20th-century / Contemporary History, Features, Issue 4 (Jul/Aug 2008), Volume 16

Rubber bullets—a more sinister use of the commodity in Northern Ireland. (Museum of Free Derry)

Rubber bullets—a more sinister use of the commodity in Northern Ireland. (Museum of Free Derry)

Ireland’s connection to rubber is not at first obvious. In the popular imagination of recent decades it is bound up with somewhat negative readings to do with the ban imposed by the Catholic Church on the sale of rubber prophylactics. More sinister was the deployment by the British army of rubber bullets during the troubles in Ulster. Belfast, Liverpool and Glasgow formed the hub around which Britain’s rubber trade turned, and tens of thousands of Irish workers were employed in the transport and the manufacture of rubber products. Belfast’s trading prosperity was closely tied to the fortunes of the rubber market.

'


Copyright © 2022 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. +353-1-293 3568