Reply To: Clara Moser and other housing activists
I haven’t heard of Clara Moser.
At least parts of the co-operative housing organisations in Dublin in the 1920s and 1930s were known as public utility societies. As I understand it, they were sponsored by Dublin Corporation, who provided sites – for example, in the area between Home Farm Road and Griffith Avenue. People having shared interests or backgrounds – such as Irish speakers (at Gaeltacht Park in Whitehall) – organised themselves to provide their own housing on these sites. The public utility societies were overtaken from the 1930s onwards by the building society movement, whose roots were often similar – for example, the Educational Building Society was established by and for teachers.
Ruth McManus wrote a thesis on public utility societies a few years ago for UCD’s Geography Department. I have heard that she may currently be contacted through the Regional College in Dundalk. She wrote an article in 1996 entitled ‘Public utility societies: Dublin Corporation and the development of Dublin, 1920-1940’. It is published in Irish Geography, Vol 29, No. 1, pp27-37. Try UCD’s Richview library.
You might also enquire of Mary Clarke, City Archivist, Dublin Civic Museum, 58 South William Street, Dublin 2.