Deep roots still blossoming 80 years on

This year, Hardware Association Ireland celebrates its 80th Anniversary. The Hardware Journal looks back at the fascinating history of our association, the hardware industry, and general life in Ireland throughout this time.

As the famous saying goes, every oak tree started out as a couple of nuts who stood their ground.

Back in July 1938, the fledgling acorns of a trade association (and accompanying publication) were burrowing into the terrain outside a small hotel in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. Inside that unassuming building, a combination of drive and determination, as well as an overall vision for the Irish hardware industry, saw two men by the names of Joseph Gerald McCaul and Terry Spillane combining forces to form the Hardware and Allied Traders Association, together with an accompanying journal – the Hardware and Allied Trader (or HAT, as it was first known).

At its inception, the statement released read: “Our aim is to seek, by all reasonable and legitimate means, to safeguard and promote the best interests of the hardware and allied trades, and to provide a common platform to bring them into a council of their own each month . . . our policy will be one of courtesy to all and, when necessary, to voice our views, to express them without fear or favour.”

The intervening years have been filled with historic events such as a world war, the civil rights movement, the intensification and eventual cessation of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, as well as many, many other moments of both triumph and turmoil, along with a couple of recessions thrown in for good measure.

Now, 80 years on, Hardware Association Ireland and The Hardware Journal are proud to celebrate our 80th year in operation – an Oak anniversary which symbolises the strength and longevity of our commitment to the Irish hardware industry in our capacity as the national representative body for hardware/DIY retailers and builders merchants, as well as manufacturers/distributors to the trade.

Throughout 2018, The Hardware Journal will be looking back at some of the key events of the past 80 years, both inside and outside the hardware industry, to commemorate this monumental milestone in the association’s history. Stay tuned for our subsequent issues for more fascinating insights into our rich and colourful history.

If you’re celebrating an anniversary this year, tell us about it, email: