The quest to find Ireland’s oldest businesses

Are you the owner of, or do you know of, a very long-established business? ThinkBusiness is on a quest to find Ireland’s longest surviving companies. Is there a business, pub or shop in your community that has stood the test of time? 

Most relatively successful companies live for between 40-50 years, so there must be something special about businesses that survive 100 years or more. 

ThinkBusiness wants to compile a list of companies that are legends in their long lifetimes. We want to find the longest-established business in each county. Ireland may be a little fascinated by all the startup activity at the moment but what about the businesses that have confronted the greatest challenge – survival – and faced it with lengthy stoicism? It’s very easy to nominate your business of choice for the list. The guidelines are below. You can also vote using the hashtag #OldIrishBiz.

The nomination guidelines:

1: Name of the business
2: Year of its establishment
3: Location

Nominate your business of choice here.


Ireland’s oldest business?

Rathborne Candles claims to be the oldest firm in Ireland, dating back to 1488.

The candlemaker was first based in the Christchurch area of Dublin. As the firm passed through the hands of various Rathborne family members, it moved its premises many times.

In 1763, the owner William Rathborne built his house and a new candle factory, known as the Phoenix Candle Works, at Dunsinea, near Blanchardstown. When the Royal Canal was completed in the early nineteenth century, the company flourished.

In 1914, the Rathborne family sold the firm. It changed hands a few times more before being bought by Lalor Ltd. It is now located in the Rosemount Business Park in Blanchardstown.

Do you know any companies older or nearly as old as Rathborne Candles? Do they still exist? If so, please tell us about it.