By Ken Kelly
After a few years travelling around in a van, selling nuts, bolts and welding equipment, John Burke Industrial Factors, in the village of Aughrim, is now one of the biggest suppliers of agri/industrial/DIY tools, equipment and farm supplies in the West of Ireland. The Ballinasloe born businessman will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of his Aughrim business, on 5th and 6th June with demonstrations and massive price cuts on all products.
Special demonstrators from such world class names as Hitachi, Jefferson, Milwaukee, Hawk, Elora, Britool, Sykes Pichawant, Gates and Sparex will be on hand to give advice on both days (Friday from 12 noon to 9 pm and on Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm).
John Burke left the Square D Plant in Ballinasloe to learn his trade in the PMPA Stores in Loughrea and later in Bord ná Mona at their Attymon and Blackwater centres. Then in 1987 he branched out on his own, selling nuts, bolts, tools and welding equipment from his travelling van before opening his first Tool and Fastner Centre beside the family home in Mackney, Ballinasloe in 1990.
Five years later John purchased the wellestablished bar, grocery and hardware business of Keary’s in Aughrim which is now a desirable venue for anybody looking for top quality tools and accessories by the world’s leading brands in the hardware and agri business. He also serves the community with a postal agency, daily and national newspapers, stationery items, large grocery and has a varied selection of wines on offer. In total seven people are employed at John Burke’s in Aughrim, with the help of his kin Shane, Robert, Alan and Laura.
It is blessed with a double entrance: one from the village and the other off the Ballinasloe-Loughrea road, where motorists can fill up with petrol, diesel and oils. John also has a large fuel depot and offers a free delivery of gas, coal, briquettes and logs in the area. John’s first outlet in Mackney is now a Curiosity Shop, selling brick-abrac, second-hand furniture and fuel supplies. And now he has plans to extend it, but wouldn’t reveal for what use. “We are inviting everyone to our open days on June 5th and 6th. We will have a marquee, plenty of entertainment, refreshments and demonstrations of tools and machinery over both days” said John
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