A “substantial” amount of pottery has been unearthed during works for a new road in Carrigaline.
Cork County Council said that during the works on the route of the new Western Relief road for the town, its contractor had to remove significant amounts of waste pottery from the site.
The route is located behind the former site of a once large pottery factory in the town.
Cork County Council said that while it was aware for many years that some waste pottery remained at the site, it did not know its extent.
With the help of the local studies library, Cork County Council has now detailed the history of Carrigaline pottery on social media and explained how a chance find of broken pottery almost a century ago by a local farmer impacted the development of the town.
“His chance find led to the uncovering of valuable red clay and ultimately to a pottery that played a pivotal role in Carrigaline’s development and local character,” it said.
At one point in the 1960s, the pottery employed around 300 people in Carrigaline.
“The pottery used local clay to make souvenirs and teapots. To meet production demands it also imported clay, which was unloaded on Carrigaline Pier off of schooners from Devon. Souvenirs for the 1938 Eucharistic Congress were made in Carrigaline and an Taoiseach Jack Lynch opened its new tile factory extension in 1967,” it added.
The pottery changed hands a number of times over the next number of years, and after one unsuccessful venture it was restarted by a workers’ co-operative of 47 members that would build the workforce to around 100 strong.
“It was during this period their Bosco mug for RTÉ became a huge hit,” it said.
The venture was taken over in 1989 by a Brazilian Pottery company and continued production for a further 14 years.
It closed in 2003.
The removal of the pottery was one of a number of advanced works for the route completed in recent weeks.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said: “The Advanced Works completed in Carrigaline will greatly aid in the progression of the Carrigaline Western Relief Road. Once the project is complete, Carrigaline will have room to develop and grow, leading to a much better quality of life for its residents, and a more attractive location for visitors. The Council’s investment here will go a long way towards helping Carrigaline thrive.”