Posted by in Features.

by Frank Kearney

Last weekend Flynn’s of Lackagh celebrated 170 years of continuous business in Lackagh – making them by a distance the longest established business in the area.

Over the weekend they had huge discounts and some great prizes were given out to customers.  All of the companies within the complex also added displays and spot prizes and the Agri Open Day proved a huge success.

Over 200 people gathered for the Christmas Cookery Demonstration that was presented by Shane and Christina Hanley and there were many people on hand to act as tasters for the delightful food.

It was a marvellous occasion and the people of the area extend sincere congratulations to Flynn’s of Lackagh and wish them many more years of successful business.

It all began when Thomas Kearney, great great grandfather of the current Managing Director Julien Flynn, first started the business.  He set up a small business and got his first licence to sell liquor in 1842.  In the pre and post famine years, selling eggs became a livelihood for the people of Lackagh and surrounding area and built up a thriving business of buying and selling eggs.

The business developed and his son Richard Kearney carried on the business.  In the mid 1920’s Michael Flynn married Maureen Kearney, and the business continued to develop.

Michael Flynn was a very successful farmer who specialised in cattle and travelled to fairs all over the country, but he also kept close contact with the business, which his wife Maureen ran successfully.

Michael Flynn and Sons soon became noted General Merchants.  Their son Thomas who later took over the business was sent to boarding school in St. Joseph’s Cistercian College, Roscrea.

A year later his mother Maureen passed away and as the business had been left to Thomas his education came to an abrupt end when he was forced to come home in mid term at the age of sixteen.

Thomas Flynn went to work for six months as an apprentice in Charlie Garavan’s shop n Galway for 1pound a week, where he quickly learned the most important aspects of the business.

Looking back on those days Thomas Flynn recalls that “when he came home to take over the running of the business he took over a 400 square feet business that carried grocery, bar, hardware, drapery and egg store.  Indeed everything was everywhere from on the floor to hanging off the ceiling”.

Once Thomas Flynn took over, the business began to expand.  A small agricultural business began to grow and develop rapidly.  Flynn’s bought corn and wool and supplied many of farmers needs.

The egg trade was still very important and much of the business inn the early days was a barter trade where no money changed hands.  Eggs were sold and groceries were bought.  Corn and wool were sold and fertilisers or other products were bought.

The sixties brought many changes.  A corn dryer was put in place and since then has continuously expanded and the Agri Department at Flynn’s of Lackagh is the largest of its kind n the west of Ireland, where they now also supply their own brand in feed supplies.

The mid sixties saw the development of a hardware store, with the old shop turned into a supermarket when Flynn’s of Lackagh opened a franchise of VG on September 3, 1966.  In the seventies the old grain store became a new large Hardware Store, which under manager Eugene Melvin continued to grow and supply complete hardware requirements and building supplies.

Next door Flynn’s opened the first SuperValu on a new site on July 9, 1976 – the same day that Roche’s Stores opened in Galway City.

Flynn’s of Lackagh SuperValu is a one-stop shop where all shopping needs are catered for under one roof, under the direction of Manager Nonie Fahy and  a large friendly staff.

In recent years the business has been passed on to a son of Thomas’. and since Julien Flynn took over he has expanded the Hardware which now also houses a Topline DIY store as well as hardware and building supplies.

The expansion of the Hardware has also made room for a larger premises for Lackagh Pharmacy and the opening of Treat Café which has been a huge addition to the area.

Julien Flynn, who is the fifth generation to carry on the business, said that the company are extremely thankful for the support that they have received from the people of the area.

He thanked all that had been such wonderful support for Flynn’s of Lackagh and the companies that have set up base on their complex and added that with such a new and vibrant community that the area will expand further in time and he hoped that their company can continue to serve the people just as they had done for the past one hundred and seventy years.