Laois entrepreneur urges more support for new local businesses

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

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lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois entrepreneur urges more support for new local businesses

A garden room in Portlaoise installed by Portlaoise man Eamon Callahan

A Laois man who opted to set up business on his home turf, is urging locals to do more to support local businesses.

Eamon Callaghan has recently expanded his equine supplies business Blackgate, based near Portlaoise in Kyleclontubbert, to offer the same style of log houses that Dublin company Loghouse is poised to bring to Laois with a new showroom.  See that story here. 

He is proud that he has set up near his home.

"This is a Laois grown, Laois owned business doing the same thing on our doorstep, and I want to make people aware that there are a lot more businesses like mine that no-one knows of," he said.

He supports local causes in turn.

"I sponsor a local rider, Lindsey Graham, and I give bedding to Cara Rescue in Laois," he said.

Mr Callaghan's business  was already established selling high quality bedding for horses. that progressing to selling wooden stables and now to importing and erecting flatpack wooden sheds, playhouses, garden rooms and full size houses particularly suited for cold wet Irish weather. 

He said there was "a lot of red tape" to seeking support from government agencies like Laois Leader, and so went his own route.

"I had to beg, borrow and steal, and turn to family and friends to help me. A lot of people I know try to go under their own steam," Mr Callaghan said. 

The Portlaoise man also sees a lot of potential in his home town for new life.

"I have lived in Australia, Lithuania, France and Germany, and we could do a lot more in Laois. There is potential with the new cycle track coming to the Slieve Blooms to have log cabins along the mountains for cyclists to camp at, or even on Portlaoise main street, to pedestrianise it and use pods as shops, little tweaks can bring tourism to Laois," he said.