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1893 image

Ballyartella, North Tipperary

Our story started back in 1893, when Denis Hanly and his son John set up a vertical woollen mill beside the Nenagh river, in a disused flour mill in Ballyartella, North Tipperary. Local farmers sold their fleeces to the mill, where wool was spun and carded and then woven into two main products of blankets and flannel fabric.

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1910 image

First exports to the UK & Europe

The company began to expand its market outside of Ireland.

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1938 image

The Move to Electricity

The traditional water mill wheel was replaced by a new water turbine. The turbine was made by a company called Grant’s in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The same water turbine is still working and produces electricity from the Nenagh river. We are proud to be able to say that all our electricity comes from renewable sources

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1939 image

Hanly Family

John Hanly died and for a number of years the business was run by various members of the Hanly family, mainly Anthony and Peggy. These were years of World War II and it would have been a great struggle to keep a factory going in these times of raw material shortage. Hanly family. Back row – left to right Anthony, Lil, Peggy, Teresa, Jack, Middle row – Mary B, John , Margaret, Denis, Front – Josie, Joseph.

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1944 image

Joseph Hanly joins the Company

Joseph Hanly, having completed his first year of Science in UCD, was called home at the age of 19 to work in the family business. He was helped during this time by his sister Peggy. Joseph would spend a total of 69 years working in Ballyartella Woollen Mills until he died on the 27th May 2013. Pictured left to right Joe Hanly, Irish Ambassador to Germany at the time, Murdo Morrison(Long standing designer with John Hanly since 1971)

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1952 image

A Fire Destroyed Much of the Mill

In 1952 a fire destroyed much of the mill, reducing it from six to two storeys and destroying the adjoining family home. After that, the mill continued, but ceased its spinning and finishing, leaving just weaving as its core business.

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1961 image

Co-Op of Irish Weaving Compaines

John Hanly + Co. Ltd joined with 2 other woollen weavers in Ireland to form the Irish Wool Weavers Co-operative. The object , which was successful for many years, was to develop export markets for woollen fabrics. The Co-op disbanded in the late 1960’s with each company going its own way.

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1968 image

Rapier Looms

John Hanly + Co. Ltd were the first woollen weaver to replace the traditional shuttle loom with the more modern rapier loom. The initial looms were all purchased from SOMET in Italy. Over a period of a few years all shuttle looms were replaced by these rapier looms which produced fabric more efficiently and with better quality.

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1979 image

First Collections of Scarves & Throws Were Introduced

With the demise of the traditional clothing factories in mainland Europe , the sale of fabric for apparel became more difficult. In order to maintain production levels the company started making Throws, scarves and other items of finished product which it started selling to retail and mail order outlets. Today the sale of those products accounts for over 80% of the output of the factory while the remainder is still fabric.

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1985 image

4th Generation

Brian Hanly, following in the almost the same footsteps of his father Joseph, was asked to return home to join the company. Brian was 24 at the time and is the current managing director of the business

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2018 image

The Business Celebrated it's 125th Birthday

The company celebrated being in continuous business for 125 years in 2018. Today, the fourth generation of Hanlys proudly hold the reins of the company The Hanly family celebrating 125 years of business at Ballyartella. Robert, Susie, Brian, Janet and John.

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2020 image

John Hanly & Co - From Strength to Strength

The mill currently employing 32 people in Ballyartella, it remains the beating heart of what we do , yet our story goes around the world. We are proud to supply top brands , quality retailers in a wealth of countries - including Germany, The Netherlands, United Kingdom , France ,United States , Canada, Japan and Korea and of course Ireland.

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From Ballyartella to the great fashion centres: we weave premium fabrics for a wealth of quality designers and retailers around the world.

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