Saturday 20 January 2018

Handcrafted hurleys are a big hit both home and away

LOUISE McBRIDE

WHEN Waterford meet Tipperary in the Munster senior hurling final this afternoon, Clare man Daithi O'Regan will watch the players' hurleys more intently than most. Many of these hurleys have been bought from his company, handcrafthurleys.com -- or from the hurley makers that supply his company.

O'Regan, who has been involved in hurling all his life, set up handcrafthurleys.com in 2010, shortly after losing his job as a production supervisor with the German electronics firm, Kostal. He knew hurley players often had difficulties getting good hurleys and that there was a demand for handcrafted hurleys.

"Waiting for hurleys is the biggest problem for players because of the shortage of Irish ash," said O'Regan.

"About 70 per cent of ash is imported -- and 150,000 foreign hurleys came into Ireland last year.

"One of the reasons I set up handcrafthurleys.com was to support Irish-made hurleys. Hurley makers know their timber and love making them. We take great pride watching players using our hurleys."

His company, which supplies hurleys from some of the top hurley makers in Ireland, had a turnover of €200,000 last year.

As well as supplying hurleys to players across Ireland, handcrafthurleys.com ships hurleys to Britain and Europe, and as far afield as the United States and Australia.

O'Regan's company also sells engraved hurleys -- usually as gifts. He expects to launch myclubshop.ie, his one-stop shop for club gear and hurleys, in the next few weeks.

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