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The old Mangans cash And Carry building in Kilmihil. Photograph by John Kelly.

An incentive for emigrant entrepreneurs

ONE of Kilmihil’s best-known business families, Mangans, are hoping to entice entrepreneurs living abroad to return home and create jobs, by placing a 15,000 sq ft depot in the village at their disposal and free of charge.

The building, located in the centre of the West Clare village, also has access to a 15,000 square foot yard. The warehouse served as the headquarters of the family business until Mangan Brothers transferred their headquarters to Ennis in 1972.

At one point, approximately 40 people were employed at the plant, including seven of the Kilmihil panel that reached the 1968 county football final.

In early February, the Mangan family handed the building over to Clare County Council and to the Kilmihil community and are now highlighting the fact that the facility is available for free. The company was founded by Martin Mangan 82 years ago. They were bought out by BWG Food Group in 2008.

In a renewed effort to promote their native parish, the family has taken the decision to make the property available, through Clare County Council, to an individual or a company with a business idea that would continue to provide employment in the area.

In a statement to The Clare Champion this week, the Mangan family suggested that one of Kilmihil’s many emigrants, in Australia, the UK or elsewhere, might be interested in coming home and establishing a business. “It is hoped that someone with a viable business idea would be tempted by this very generous offer of a free premises in an excellent location.”

“Perhaps one of our immigrants, having worked abroad and having developed an idea, would see this as an opportunity to return home and create an employment opportunity for themselves in their native place,” the statement read.

Clare County Council Director of Services, Ger Dollard, stressed that the local community will have to aid the council and other agencies, in establishing and utilising the facility.

“It will involve engagement with the local community. The initiative will only progress if there is demand and if the community and the agencies can work together. If the community or the council could do it alone, great, but I don’t think in the present climate that anybody can do anything on their own.

“The success of these initiatives is about doing it in partnership. The key thing underlining it all is that there is no point in doing such a project if there is nobody in the area willing to take up that type of enterprise space. The demand has to be there,” Mr Dollard said.

“This is a very positive gesture on behalf of the Mangan family to consider handing the building over to the local community. There may be potential there for an enterprise centre or indeed for some type of sports use at the back of the building,” he suggested.

The premises may be viewed by appointment by contacting Tom Downes on 087 4192556.

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