Stroke of luck for young Donegal entrepreneurs

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

Two young brothers from Loughanure who have their own business crafting pens from Irish wood have got an early Christmas present.

Two young brothers from Loughanure who have their own business crafting pens from Irish wood have got an early Christmas present.

Rónán and Conor McGarvey, aged 14 and 11 respectively, were recently told that they cannot obtain any grants because they are both under the age of 18. They’ve already sold more than 1,000 pens, made from hand-turned bog oak, ash, yew, walnut and other Irish native woods, since they started Donegal Pens two years ago and reinvested most of the proceeds in new equipment, tools and supplies. Now they need a new workshop to develop the business, which has outgrown the leaky, draughty garden shed which has been its home to date.

They approached Údarás na Gaeltachta and Donegal County Enterprise Board but were told that, because they are under 18, the funding bodies can’t enter into a contract with them. Morning Ireland featured their story yesterday, with wonderful results. One caller offered to supply the workshop, while retailers said they’d be happy to stock the pens and many companies said they would like to buy pens as gifts for their clients. “We’re over the moon,” the lads said, “and very grateful for this support!” See www.donegalpens.com or ring or (074) 9548516 for more info.