With four bacon factories operating at the heart of the city, the pig played a vital role in Limerick's economic and social life. O'Mara's, Matterson's, Denny's and Shaw's (later Clover meats) built an international reputation for Limerick ham and bacon and provided employment for thousands of families linking the city and the surrounding county in the production of bacon products. Limerick’s bacon industry became almost like a family business, as many generations of families worked in these factories that were dotted around Limerick
O’Mara’s, Matterson’s, Shaw’s and Denny’s made Limerick famous for the quality of its bacon produce and linked the city and county in its production. This quality led to the growth of a large-scale industry centred around the city, which quickly was nicknamed Pigtown.
The reputation of Limerick ham, the food culture that arose from a plentiful supply of cheap products, the story of the pork butchers, the pig buyers, the sounds of the city with factory horns signalling the call to work -all of these still resonate in Limerick in the memories of its citizens and former workers.