Clara Moser and other housing activists

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    • #704950

      This is a bit of a long-shot, but has anyone out there ever heard of Clara Moser? She seems to have been involved in various housing organisations in Dublin in the 1920s and 30s. I am trying to figure out where she fits in the overall picture of co-operative housing in the city at this time. If anyone has any ideas, I’d be delighted.

    • #715718
      Paul Clerkin

      Have you tried the architectural archive… or maybe even the national archives on Bishop Street?

    • #715719

      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.

    • #715720

      Thanks for your response. I’d better come clean – I’m the Ruth McManus to whom you refer (now in TCD Geography Department)! I’ve been unearthing further material on the public utility societies and there appears to have been a network of individuals who keep cropping up. One of these is Clara Moser, who was a signatory of the rules of the first society (St. Barnabas in East Wall, organised by Rev. Hall) but also appears to have been involved in the Charlemont PUS much later – Michael Scott was their architect. I’m trying to figure out the relationships between the likes of Clara Moser, Dr Collis, Rev Gwynn and others, but there is a dearth of documentary evidence and a lot of it is guesswork. Many of these individuals were associated with the Civics Institute of Ireland and the early town planning movement.
      Thanks again for your interest.

    • #715721

      You might try Colm Lincoln’s UCD MA thesis on working class housing in Dublin.(c1980?) It might have a reference.

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