Drogheda's Industrial Life 1979

The Drogheda Industrial Exhibition of 1979 showcased some of the best of Drogheda's local businesses held in the White Horse Hotel (now the Westcourt Hotel) on West Street.

The Chairman of the Exhibition Committee Richard Greene said in his introduction in the souvenir catalogue:

"Why an Industrial Exhibition?  Apart from keeping a few people out of worse mischief, the urge to organise this exhibition was motivated by three objectives:

1. To provide Drogheda Industry with the excuse to polish its shoes, comb its hair and practise its smile for four days. In other words, to stand up with confidence to be counted by its peers and public.

2. To promote the national concept of Guaranteed Irish, by reference to the opportunities that are missed here in Drogheda to substitute Irish for imported.

3. To instill the idea, in these industrially-divisive days, that there is a broader picture to be seen, and a fiercer enemy to be faced, than that which one imagines to be within the gates of ones own workplace. All industry, whether it be state, semi-state or private, is in competition with someone somewhere, either for the means to operate or for the share of markets.

So much goodwill has been encountered from so many different people, that we have had our faith in the event preserved during the inevitable setbacks, and now gives us confidence that these objectives will be handsomely achieved."

Some of the exhibitors were household names that sadly, either through falloff in demand, buyouts by the competition, or cheaper labour abroad, no longer exist, whilst some are happily still going strong. The list of exhibitors for 1979 is as follows and is a great insight into the working life of the town at that time:

Drogheda Aluminium, Eobain McDonnell, builders & Drogheda Fireplace Centre, Boyne Valley Foods, Bari Taylor Ltd. clothing manufacturers, Irish Tapestry Co., Bissell Ireland, Robert Roden (electrics), Poclain Hydraulics, The Boyne Valley Hotel, Suko furniture manufacturing, Charles Dougherty (incorporated Drogheda Oatmeal Milling Co. Ltd, produced oatmeal, wheatmeal, seeds, fertilizers etc.), the I.D.A., Drogheda & Dundalk Dairies, Peter Lyons Ltd. bakers, Tegral Pipes, Tower Fireplaces in Mornington, Mell Furniture, Centronics Ireland, Wilson & McBrinn clothing manufacturers and their 'Dingo' jeans, D.K. Agencies electrical equipment, Becton Dickinson & Co. medical equipment, Ushers Mills, D. Myles (Life & Pensions) Ltd., Old Drogheda Society, Gerrard O'Reilly Fireplaces, Keltic Marketing, Ann Murphy Designs, Morgan Landy photographers, WESCO, Drogheda Printers Ltd, W. & C. McDonnell (food stuffs), Flogas, Halco Plant, Boyne Marine Engineering & Electrical Centre, Rosita Gilsenan (batik artist), Globe Travel, Rock House Ltd. (sportswear), Connolly-McNamara Vintage Wines, G. Morgan & Sons (furntiture production), and The Drogheda Independent.

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