My introduction to butchery came at the age of 14 by way of a part-time job, followed by an apprenticeship on leaving school. The pay was low and the hours long so, at 19, I moved to London, intending to try a different career, but ended up at Dewhurst.
In 1971, I returned home and, for the next two years, worked for a local butcher, then managed yet another local shop from 19731979. At this point I went into business for myself a daunting prospect especially as I had a young family! I bought my current property in 1982 and developed the shop in 1994.
At the time, BSE was a major concern and people in the trade were sceptical of the large investment I had made. Thankfully, the business thrived and has grown annually since. The downside was that the many hours required to run the shop left less time to spend with my growing family, which was difficult for us all.
I feel we are capable of withstanding the credit crunch because our name is well known locally and is synonymous with quality. Some of the customers who shop with me today were babies in prams when they first came in and now they bring their children which fills me with pride!
Throughout the years, my family has helped to run the business. Currently, my son Shane and two of my daughters Aisling and Kirsty work with me in the family business. Winning Butcher's Shop of the Year in 2008 was the crowning achievement of 45 years of hard work.