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Stafford's have a long history in Rosbercon

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Stafford Fuels managing director Andy Maher and Leinster and Ireland rugby star Tadhg Furlong at the opening of a new €3m smokeless fuel plant at Stafford's in Raheen, New Ross, in 2017.

Stafford Fuels managing director Andy Maher and Leinster and Ireland rugby star Tadhg Furlong at the opening of a new €3m smokeless fuel plant at Stafford's in Raheen, New Ross, in 2017.

Stafford Fuels managing director Andy Maher and Leinster and Ireland rugby star Tadhg Furlong at the opening of a new €3m smokeless fuel plant at Stafford's in Raheen, New Ross, in 2017.

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The end of the 19th century saw the emergence of JJ Stafford, the Wexford businessman who made his fortune from the sale of fuels.

He was an extraordinary businessman that came from humble beginnings and built a business that is still in existence today.

JJ Stafford was born in South Main Street Wexford on November  26,1860. He grew up in an era when money was scarce and in a nation traumatised by both the memory of the great famine and the ongoing landlord tyranny of the nineteenth century.

Educated at the Christian Brothers, JJ Stafford was first introduced to shipping, an education that proved to be invaluable to him in later years. Upon leaving school in the 1870s he was employed as a clerk at Wexford Dockyard Company where he later became manager.

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1891 saw the commencement of the first Stafford Business when JJ Stafford became a ship owner. In the 1890s he also opened a merchant store in the Stonebridge area of Wexford, and a grocery store in partnership with his brother George and sister Elizabeth, he later purchased the shares from his siblings to become sole owner.

JJ Stafford's first venture into the shipping industry was in 1891. He subsequently expanded his fleet and made history to become the first Irish ship owner to purchase a motor ship. The vessels which he owned traded around Europe, North and West Africa and Canada collecting coal, grain, oil, timber, cement, food supplies and livestock.

In 1900 JJ Stafford bought John E Barry's extensive coal business and yards on Paul Quay, Wexford. Further businesses were acquired which included a shipping company that is still in existence today.

In 1930 JJ Stafford founded the limited liability company JJ Stafford and Sons (Wexford) Ltd. along with the associated Wexford Steamship Company which began trading in 1931. In the early 1930s he bought property in the Rosbercon area of New Ross where he planned to move and site his shipping and coal operations. Today Stafford Shipping Ltd. is still operating from this site.

By the 1940s JJ Stafford could sit back and look back at his life satisfied with a realisation of dreams; he had the distinction of being the largest coal importer in Ireland, a major ship owner with a substantial interest in property all over the country. He died on December 6, 1947, at his residence aged 87.

The Stafford Group has now been in existence for almost 115 years and the tradition continues with fourth Generation family members now actively involved.

At the helm is Chief Executive Mark Stafford, great grandson of the founder JJ Stafford, he oversees the running of the business with his father Victor J. Stafford, Group Chairman. The privately owned Stafford Group is involved today in Oil/Solid Fuel importation and distribution, shipping, storage, property and Lifestyle sports retail.


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