In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a thriving flax mill was situated on the Longford site. The site and buildings were acquired in 1913 by two brothers, William and James Glennon, who set up a sawmill after returning from the United States. Although James returned to America soon afterwards, William continued to run the business until 1943, when he was succeeded by his son Patrick (Paddy).
Motive power over the years ranged from water to steam to oil and finally to electricity in 1947. Over time, the business evolved from sawing hardwoods for a range of indigenous uses to today’s highly sophisticated softwood operation. To give you an idea of how things have changed over the years, the volume of timber used to run the mill for a day in 1945 would now be processed in the Fermoy saw mill in less than five minutes.
Paddy was responsible for the growth and development of the business for over 50 years. Paddy was a highly respected figure within the timber processing industry and was a member of the steering group which led to the formation of Coillte. Paddy also served as a non executive director on the board of Coillte.
Paddy’s sons, Pat and Mike, became joint managing directors in the mid 1990s. Pat has previously been vice chairman of the Irish Timber Council, the representative body for the Irish sawmilling sector. Mike previously served as a non executive director on the board of Coillte, and is currently a member of the council for Coford, the National Council for Forest Research and Development.
Pat and Mike drove the growth of the company with the acquisition of the Fermoy plant from the Smurfit group in 1998, and the subsequent €25 million capital development plan to transform the loss making plant into a state of the art timber processing operation. They have subsequently expanded the group through the acquisition of Windymains Timber (2005) near Edinburgh, Dempsey Timber Engineering (2007) in Arklow and Adam Wilsons and Alexanders Timber Design (2008) in Scotland.
Windymains Timber located in Humbie, near Edinburgh, is a specialist fencing and treated timber mill with an annual production capacity of 50,000m3.
Adam Wilsons is a fifth generation family business, located in the port of Troon, and is one of the largest sawmills in the UK, employing over 100 people. Wilsons specialises in kiln dried carcassing, fencing, pallet and packaging material. The group total sawn wood capacity is now 450,000m3 per annum and it has a kiln drying capacity of 220,000m3 per annum.
Alexanders Timber Design is a leading provider of quality timber frames and engineered roof trusses in the UK, supplying both timber frame homes and commercial properties.
Dempsey Timber Engineering specialise in the supply and installation of Timber Frame Homes and Engineered Roof Trusses to the construction industry and also to one off self builders.
View our historical timeline here.