Portwest celebrates 110 years of history, heritage and business

Founded in 1904, Irish company Portwest celebrated 110 years in business last month. The family-run business has been based in Westport for over a century where the now global company is discreetly run by a trio of brothers, Cathal, Harry and Owen Hughes. Throughout their 110 years, they have become one of Europe’s most trusted name in work-wear, personal protective equipment, safety footwear and leisurewear.

From their rural headquarters’ in the West of Ireland they operate a global business which now has bases in Ireland, the UK, Poland, Germany, Dubai, China, Bangladesh and the USA. The company employs over 100 people in Ireland and 200 throughout Europe and the US. Since 2010 the Hughes family has increased their turnover from €10 Million to €100 Million.

Owen Hughes, Managing Director of Charles Hughes LTD. explains “We are proud and humbled to have reached this significant milestone in the history of our company. This year has seen the fourth generation come aboard for their apprenticeships! We are grateful for the loyal customer base which we have built throughout the years and this continues to expand both at home and abroad. Portwest is an Irish company to the core which is now known around the world.”

Brothers Cathal, Harry and Owen Hughes are the current helmsmen of the company which is still underpinned by the traditional values and hallmark signature of Mr Charles Hughes. This month as Portwest celebrates 110 years in business, 2014 has also welcomed the fourth generation of the Hughes family who have stepped into their apprenticeships with the now globally known brand.

“Our markets in Ireland and across the world continue to grow and for a family-run Irish business this is an accolade that we wear with pride. Having come through difficult economic periods we have had to continually monitor and diversify the business to meet the needs of our customers. From our humble beginnings in 1904 in Co. Mayo with a factory of just 20 machinists, we are proud that we employ a dedicated team of over 1,700 people across the world who are bringing Portwest and Ireland to the fore. “says Owen Hughes.

Last month the Hughes family hosted a Heritage themed day in Westport where they celebrated 110 years of history, heritage and business. The day finished with the launch of a commemorative book in Hotel Westport that celebrates the rich history of the business from its humble beginnings and the political, social and economic obstacles they have faced.

The book which has been lovingly compiled by Harry Hughes, details little known facts about Portwest such as Charles’ Hughes internment with Michael Collins in 1916 and attacks from the Black & Tans to their current present days rise. Throughout the coming months, Portwest will be celebrating their 110 Years in business with their valued customers with a variety of special offers and promotions. For more see www.portwest.ie


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