A subject I am not aware has been discussed, this relates to Dublin in 1913 upto the 1930`s and was known as " Police Clothing "
` Half the population of Dublin are clothed in the cast - off clothes of the other half ` - Reminiscences, 1913 by Charles A Cameron
The principal source of clothing for the poor were the second hand markets such as Coles lane, Cumberland Street, and the Daisy and Iveagh markets. To the poor of the tenements there was no shame in wearing used clothing since everyone had to do the same. Actually, there was a tremendous variety of clothing and many pieces were in excellent condition. Absolutely anything could be found - shawls, skirts, blouses, suits, trousers, hats, scarves, gloves, coats, footwear, and even christening gowns and Confirmation and First Communion outfits. Poor families were completely outfitted from the market stalls
There were, however, those families too poor even to afford a few shillings for the basics of dress. In response, the Herald Boot Fund was established to provide footwear for the barefoot urchins so pathetically in evidence around Dublin's streets
One could also apply for what was known as " Police Clothing ". Usually, only the poorest of the poor would wear these garments since they carried a readily identifiable stamp of " P.C " and a social stigma as well. Mary Doolan accepted police clothing but found it a demeaning experience :
` Police Clothing, I got them myself. They would be inhuman. You went to a stable for them, an old stable where horses used to be. You should have seen the filth in the stable ! They would look at them ( children ) and say, ` here, that`ll fit him ` and hand it out to you. An old shirt and jumper....horrible dirt. You wouldn't want to put them on, but you had to. And there`d be a little stamp on the shirt and jumper and all the kids would know that you got them off the police and they`d jeer you `
John - Joe Kennedy, came from the Liberties had this to say -
` There really was poverty in them times. Very little work at that time and kids walking around the street in bare feet and the arse out of his trousers. I was the same. Oh, common. I remember they used to give out free boots in the schools - the Herald Boot Fund - and we used to scrub our feet nearly bleeding and put them out in front of the teacher like that to get a pair of boots.
And then there was the `Police Clothes`, get them down at Pearse Street.Oh, you were a tough guy when you had them on you ! `
Taken from Dublin Tenement Life an Oral History by Kevin C Kearns
I am sure these old `Police Clothes" clothed many a person and they were glad of them in those harsh and hard times, regardless of the social stigma. I would be interested to know more
Was there a procedure to distribute used or surplus RIC/DMP clothing pre Treaty and afterwards ?