Tuesday 26 September 2017

Emigrant past drove Ford to set Ireland 'on road to prosperity'

TIME TRANSPORT: Ciaran McMahon at the Ford family memorial in Ballinascarthy, Co Cork, with an original Model T and the new Ford Mustang
TIME TRANSPORT: Ciaran McMahon at the Ford family memorial in Ballinascarthy, Co Cork, with an original Model T and the new Ford Mustang

Martin Brennan

Henry Ford's affection for Ireland was so strong he spent millions building and nurturing an assembly plant at Cork Harbour Marina to help a depressed Irish economy. The plant was built in 1917 and during peak production employed 7,000 workers.

The US car magnate took the hearthstones of his father's ancestral home in Ballinascarthy to Detroit, Michigan, to have them installed in his home, named 'Fair Lane' after a Cork landmark.

Today starts a year of celebrations for Ford in Ireland, at one time the biggest private employer in the country.

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