Irish Tourist Association Survey
The Irish Tourist Association was a precursor of Bord Fáilte. It sponsored the survey of Limerick (as well as other counties) with a view to assessing its potential for tourism. The Limerick survey was carried out in 1943/44 by the noted archaeologists Ralph Lucas and P. J. Lynch, who completed several detailed forms on the parishes (Roman Catholic) around the county and including Limerick City. The survey form was quite extensive. The survey compilers listed items of topographical interest, geological features, mansions and castles, and customs and patterns. They also had to make an inventory of amenities, give general information on towns and villages, list dance halls, cinemas, industries, handcrafts, fairs and markets, and petrol stations. Copious notes were taken, often illustrated with pencil drawings—the one for Manister Abbey being particularly detailed. These notes now give us a valuable insight into Limerick social history in the 1940s. The types of bed and breakfasts were listed, together with a commentary on whether they had facilities such as bathrooms, toilets, etc.
Besides completing the survey forms, the archaeologists took black-and-white ‘box brownie’ photographs of antiquities deemed to be potential tourist attractions. These were placed in envelopes and clipped onto the survey forms.We include these photographs here.
[Adapted from'The Irish Tourist Board Association Survey: a forgotten Limerick resource' by Margaret Franklin, History Ireland, vol. 11, no. 4, Winter 2003]