Dawe's Explores Tyrone Crystal

Details

Location

Dungannon

Year

1971

Source

Format

16mm

black and white

Length

15min 01sec

Silent

sound

Courtesy

British Film Institute, ITV, UTV

Rights Holder

ITV

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.

Description

Is crystal glass a solution to chronic unemployment? See one story from a self-help movement tackling poverty and sectarian discrimination.

To confront chronic unemployment Fr. Eustace revives Tyrone’s lost tradition of glass blowing on its 200th anniversary. As this film begins you’ll see Gert Elstner who trained the local workforce. Before this factory opened these workers learned their trade amongst the coffins behind Mc Aleers Hotel. Locals gathered jam jars and bottles for trainees to practice with. They would go on to produce Ireland’s largest chandelier which hangs in The Merchant Hotel in Belfast.  
 

Notes

Fr. Eustace formed the Tyrone Development Association to address the social needs of the local community. With the financial support of organisations like the Northern Ireland Resurgence Trust the association helped people build their own houses. Investment from Ohio enabled this factory to open in 1971. This self-help approach produced a global success before changing tastes and recession forced Tyrone Crystal to close its doors after nearly 40 years in 2010. Since then there have been several attempts by these skilled workers including Gert Elstner to revive this industry under different names. This material is courtesy of the UTV archive.

Credits

Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage

Interviewer / Presenter: Leslie Dawes 

Interviewees / Participants: Father Austin Eustace, Gert Elstner

Sound: P. Irwin

Camera: D. Scott

Links