In 1857 Tom Gallaher founded the Gallaher Tobacco business in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He acquired the old York Road Linen Mill in Belfast. By 1896 the Belfast factory had become the largest tobacco factory in the world.
Gallahers is one of three Multimedia Heritage films about the social and industrial heritage of north Belfast in living memory as told by the people who have lived and worked through it, particularly the women. The project was supported by Heritage Lottery, who enabled us to do interviews with generations who worked in the factories, mills and shipyards, and they are the last of their kind. They lived in an intricate tapestry of small streets housed a multitude of families whose breadwinners worked long hours in manual trades. This experience shaped the Spirit of Belfast. The industrial history of work practices is interspersed with both humorous and tragic accounts of life being lived to the full.They were grateful to get a job as hard times were common. Close communities were formed as large families grew up cheek by jowl and children followed their parents into the labour market at an early age.