Our Story

New Beginnings

Irish Hide Designs is a luxury furniture and furnishings company that is committed to offering its customers quality products which are made from premium, natural Irish hides and lamb skins. Our materials are sourced along the Wild Atlantic Way and our products are made using both traditional and modern manufacturing techniques. We take huge pride in the quality of our Irish source materials that are beautiful and unique. We are inspired by the places that we visit and the people that we meet.

"The McCarthy family have worked in the Irish hide and skin trade since 1810"

Irish Hide Designs was established in 2016 with the aim of providing the highest quality Irish hide and skin products to the Irish and International markets. Underpinning the company is the wealth of experience derived from the McCarthy family who have been involved in the trade since 1810. This rich history and the expertise and skills nurtured over 200 years are now focused on the design and manufacture of our natural and premium products.

 

 

Our History

The McCarthy family have had a connection with the hide and wool trade since a faithful journey from Maynooth to Cork dramatically brought the McCarthy and Fitzgibbon families together in 1810. Michael McCarthy had been returning from the cemenery when he became ill, he was removed from the coach in Caherconlish where he was nursed back to health by the Fitzgibbon family who were wool and hide traders. When healthy again Michael left but kept in touch with Mary Fitzgibbon whom he later married. It was this marriage which began the McCarthy interest in the wool and hide business.

Throughout the 1800s generations of Michael McCarthy’s extended family worked in the business and members of the family exported hides and skins throughout the world. Indeed Limerick became a McCarthy stronghold where four families competed with each other to source hides and skins. Members of each family travelled throughout the country by train and truck to buy produce from butchers which was then transported back to their Limerick bases.

Hard times hit the hide and skin trade in the first half of the 20th century where war time and the world recession made trading very difficult. The McCarthy family worked hard to keep the doors open eventually splitting one company into three entities to allow the different family members to provide for individual families.

Richard McCarthy a smart and forward thinking business man established a large hide, wool and skin business on the Dock road, Limerick in the early 1920s. This business grew with sons Richard and Brian exporting hides and skins throughout the world.

Black Michael McCarthy his brother Patrick McCarthy from Ballinacurra worked in the business for years and kept their families well and happy until they retired.

John J McCarthy set up business in Cathedral Place, Limerick. The business was owned and operated by three brothers, Paddy, Stan and Billy. The brothers fought hard to keep the business going, travelling around the country of Ireland to source hides and skins for the warehouse and export.

Paddy’s son Derek took ownership of the business in 1985 after serving his apprenticeship under the watchful eye of his father and his brothers. Derek moved the warehouse to Kilchrest, Loughrea, Co. Galway in 1990. It is from this location that the McCarthy connection with the hide and skin trade continues today, and where the source materials for Irish Hide Designs products come from.