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Work Token from Persse’s Distillery, Nun’s Island, Galway,

Museum Reg: Comerford House Collection
Location: Storage

Work token from Persse’s Distillery, Nun’s Island, Galway, manufactured by Parke’s of Dublin and was used by workers to ‘clock in’. The workers deposited their token on the way to work with a ‘tally boy’. At the end of the week, payment was made for the number of days the number was recorded as being present.

Persse’s Whisky Distillery was established in 1815 at Newcastle by Henry Stratford Persse (c. 1769-1833). In 1847, the distillery was re-located to the Nun’s Island premises. The quality of the ‘Galway Whisky’ produced by the Persse distillery was renowned. An MP for Kilkenny employed as a sales representative by Henry Sadlier Persse (who managed the distillery from 1859 to 1899) even introduced it to the House of Commons bar, London, England. This led to the marketing slogan of ‘Favourite in the House of Commons’. By 1908, falling whisky consumption and competition from the larger distilleries in Dublin led to the closure of the Persse Distillery with the loss of over 50 jobs.


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