John Hanly, the fifth generation of the family business, with one of the displays in the exhibition. Photos by Odhran Ducie

Exhibition opens at John Hanly & Co

If you haven't paid a visit recently to the historic mill site just outside Nenagh, you will be surprised at the tasteful transformation of the shop, which now encompasses new displays to complement the regularly updated range of stock for sale. The displays document the John Hanly & Co story over the last 130 years and the processes behind their globally renowned craft. Included is a ledger dating from 1894, labels used down through the decades, and an engaging video to help inform you of the work that begins at Ballyartella Woollen Mills and travels around the world.


Made with merino, cashmere, lambswool and pure wool, featuring every colour imaginable, the neatly-presented wears in the shop range from ladies and men's jackets, to hats, slippers, shawls and scarves. There are blankets for beds and throws for couches, and a particular popular attraction are the baby blankets, which can be embroidered with the newborn's name, a wonderful gift that could make a lifetime keepsake.

Everything bears the John Hanly & Co hallmark of quality & design. Visitors to the shop will be able to find that something extra special , something not available elsewhere and will be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is. There is also fantastic value from a wide range of ‘samples’. Visitors to the shop will be able to find that something extra special, something not available elsewhere, and will be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is. People also come to the shop to buy fabric - many kept busy during the lockdowns by rediscovering the art of making clothes, and the wide selection of fabric of various colours that Hanly & Co stock has drawn further appeal.


Visitors have come from near and far, across Ireland and abroad to see the home of this international brand that has never lost sight of its local roots. John Hanly & Co has found that modern consumers favour the Ballyartella product because it is a sustainable choice, made from natural fibres and using renewable energy - much of it generated by the large water wheel installed at the site in 1938, which, remarkably, remains in use to this day.

The shop also promotes small businesses from elsewhere in Ireland, with an enticing range of candles, handmade soaps, recycled bags , Aran sweaters , Irish jewellery and more to add to the myriad of gift ideas available.


The Hanlys established their business at Ballyartella, where a disused corn mill was in situ, in 1893. They started out spinning, weaving and finishing, or washing, wool. Through five generations, the Hanly family businesses has adapted and diversified with the times to the point where around 65% of what they make at Ballyartella is exported, the main destinations being the UK, Germany, Holland, Italy, France, Spain, Austria, the USA and Japan. The remainder of the market is domestic, where there remains great demand for the Hanly product among Irish retailers catering for the tourist market and also the general domestic market.

A key element of the Hanly story is the great staff that they have employed at Ballyartella over the years. The new display features familiar faces of staff. There is now, as there always has been, around 30 people working at the site and the majority of them hail from the local area. And local customers and people in general have remained supportive of the Hanly business down through the years, something that all at the company want to acknowledge with a big Thank You.

John Hanly & Co is also grateful for the support and guidance that they received from North Tipperary Development Company and the LEADER programme for the new exhibition project.

The shop and exhibition is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. See the website for more information, and take a look also at their Facebook & Instagram pages for regular updates on new additions to the shop.