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The friendly attitude of continental diplomats and businessmen to the emerging Irish Free State, in the form of investment and expert labour, arguably led to the successful founding of the sugar industry in the 1920s. Reubenshafen or Port de Bettavres was the name for the ‘beet port’ behind the sugar factory in Carlow, its name depending on the origin of the speaker (Germany or Belgium).

Reubenshafen Quarter is the only name in the proposed Greencore development on the sugar factory site that refers to sugar, even obliquely, or the site’s previous use. The potential Reubenshafen Quarter is linked to an obscure and little-known history, appropriated by Greencore in order to claim a new corporate identity.

(images courtesy Greencore & First Impressions Ltd). See also issue 3 of The Fold – ‘The Disappeared’, a Workroom Elsewhere project curated by Alison Pilkington and Cora Cummins. Below image: Rabbi Zaiman Alony, a senior member of the Jewish community in Ireland, supervising the packaging of sugar in 1976 in the Carlow factory. For more about internationalism and the Irish sugar industry, see the ‘extras’ section here.

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