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How homegrown businesses benefit from Guaranteed Irish membership

Joining GI offers promotion, lobbying and networking opportunites plus a wealth of commercial experience

For businesses that earn the coveted Guaranteed Irish mark, it means more than simply earning the right to use a symbol. They’re linking in with an organisation that cares for them, roots for them and backs them at home and on a global stage.

The promotional work Guaranteed Irish does on behalf of its members is one of the key benefits of membership.

“In terms of getting the message out, it’s important that we communicate it on every platform, go omnichannel and get as far a reach as possible, at home and abroad,” says Bríd O’Connell, its chief executive officer.

Behind the scenes, Guaranteed Irish not only undertakes research on behalf of its members but is also is a registered lobbying organisation, which means it can make representations to Government and state agencies on matters of concern to its members.


Throughout the year, member businesses benefit from a full calendar of events, with great networking opportunities to get to know their peers and informative workshops and webinars on industry-specific topics.

The recent Pharmaceutical Forum saw pharmaceutical companies come together with other supporting Irish businesses, such as logistics companies, and academia, bringing the Guaranteed Irish tagline ‘All together better’ to life.

“It’s working on Ireland’s reputation, to increase it in a global context,” says O’Connell. “The more PR we do for our businesses, the more we become known as experts in that field and doors open for members more easily when they go abroad or export.”

Sectors benefiting from upcoming forums include technology, professional services, food and drink, and construction. Regardless of the size of the company, the impact of being a member of Guaranteed Irish is significant.


You can argue over whether to call it a hurl, a hurley or a camán but there is no doubt that it is the most quintessential Irish product. Torpey, a Co Clare family business which has been producing hurleys for three generations, has a new twist on the craft.

After six years of research, development and testing with elite players, the company introduced the Torpey Bambú, a hurley made from, as the name suggests, bamboo, a sustainable alternative to the traditional ash wood, which is in short supply.

Having the Guaranteed Irish stamp of approval ensures there is no doubt about its provenance as an Irish product.

“In a time where consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the origins and production processes of products, being a Guaranteed Irish member has helped highlight that we are a business committed to quality products, ethical practices and supporting the local economy,” says managing director Sean Torpey.

GI membership has also opened up promotional opportunities for the brand, from podcasts and newspaper articles to email campaigns, as well as networking opportunities, enabling collaboration with like-minded Irish businesses.

The company also produces women’s and men’s sports apparel, and in a market where consumers are increasingly concerned about the credentials of their purchases, “membership provides a distinct profile as a reputable Irish brand, fostering trust among our customers”, says Torpey.

“Being part of Guaranteed Irish highlights our commitment to quality and authenticity, traits we built Torpey on,” he adds.

SynerChi Kombucha

Iconic Irish brands are in the blood for SynerChi founder Laura Murphy, whose grandfather Joe was the creator of Tayto crisps.

However, she has carved out her own niche in a more health-conscious space, bringing the first Irish-brewed kombucha to the market when she established the brand in 2012. Having gone from home brewing the fermented tea health drink to passing through the Food Academy and bringing on the late Raymond Coyle, founder of Tayto Park, as an investor, the company set up manufacturing in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht.

A somewhat incongruous scene – Gaeilgóirí making quite a different cupán tae – but it works, and the company has grown to create more than 25 jobs in Gweedore.

“It’s an area that really benefits from the employment,” Murphy says, and confirms, “The Irish language is very much alive in the workplace.”

Kombucha’s popularity has steadily increased as people’s awareness of the importance of gut health has grown.

“There is so much more awareness in terms of gut health and how integral it is to overall health, immune-system support and how it impacts on mental health,” says Murphy.

With other Irish and imported brands coming into the market, being a member of GI is important to Murphy.

“It’s really great to be able to demonstrate in an easy way for people to see and understand that we have that provenance, that we’re supporting local jobs that we are actually made in Ireland,” she says.


Michael O’Donohoe, commercial director UK and Ireland at Wavin, says that being a member of Guaranteed Irish has helped the business to highlight its heritage.

“The company has been manufacturing here for over 65 years and is enormously proud of that,” he adds.

O’Donohoe says the membership has provided Wavin with platforms to talk about the business to a wide audience, from networking and profiling opportunities at occasions such as the Guaranteed Irish Business Awards to participating in media opportunities.

“In 2021 we worked with Guaranteed Irish and TG4 to showcase our history, our processes and, most importantly, our vision for the future in a production featuring member companies,” he says. “Given how instrumental Wavin was in the development of providing safe, running water to rural Ireland, it was excellent to be able to showcase this to such a broad audience.”

Membership has also been positive in engaging with sustainability initiatives that make a difference in Ireland.

“We’re delighted to be involved as a member of the Guaranteed Irish Forest which will see 14 hectares of native Irish forest planted to be enjoyed by generations to come,” says O’Donohoe.

Through Guaranteed Irish, O’Donohoe had the opportunity to present the business to members of the Oireachtas, which, he says, “underlines our commitment to Ireland and also demonstrates to our parent company the good stead in which Wavin Ireland is held”.

Global Home Improvements

Barry Shevlin’s father started the family business in 1980, primarily as a windows and doors provider. Over the years it has expanded into roofing and other areas, designing, manufacturing and fitting throughout Ireland. Since Shevlin Jr took the reins at Global Home Improvements, he applied for the GI mark.

“We deal with householders and that’s why the GI mark is so important to us,” he says. “It’s a recognised brand and it’s very aligned with our own values as a customer-centric company.”

While you won’t see the mark stamped on the finished door or window, when design consultants visit homeowners they show it on a slide as part of their presentation of the company, and the mark is on all letterheads and printed promotional materials.

Putting Irishness front and centre was important to the company, particularly in the wake of Brexit, says Shevlin.

“We quite often hear from customers that buying Irish is one of their criteria,” he adds.

When it comes to alignment of values, Global Home Improvements gives back to communities not only through sports sponsorships but also through contributing a rewilding project at Dunsany Castle and Nature Reserve in Co Meath, planting a tree there for every order they receive. It is an ethos that aligns with the spirit and the letter of GI values: “It’s in Ireland, it’s helping employment and it’s just a really good thing to do – we’re proud of that.”

Spotlight on ... Magico

Based in Ennis, Co Clare, Magico is an ecommerce agency that has been delivering websites for ambitious retailers since 1999, helping them to get online and grow their business. Their clients include retailers such as Homevalue, Boyle, Sheahans, and more.

Former Accenture consultant Paul Montwill set up Magico as a web-development company in 1999 and after a few years decided to specialise in building ecommerce websites.

Orla Cooney, Magico’s chief operating officer, says that, as an Irish ecommerce platform built by an Irish development team for independent Irish retailers, the company aligns with the Guaranteed Irish values of supporting independent Irish business and jobs.

Since the pandemic saw many Irish businesses go online for the first time, it has given them a newfound global reach.

Magico has vast experience in helping its clients apply for Enterprise Ireland Online Retail Scheme funding, which provides direct financial support to retail companies to develop a more competitive online business offering to complement their in-store offering.

The company has assisted more than 40 Irish retailers and secured more than €1.5 million in funding through the scheme. In doing so, it has found that a Guaranteed Irish company underlines its expertise in the Irish market to potential customers.

A rising tide lifts all boats: bringing Irish companies online has the knock-on effect of making Irish customers who shop online more likely to choose Irish brands – when the buying journey is simplified for them.

Cooney says the company is “very happy to support the Guaranteed Irish #alltogetherbetter #supportlocal campaigns that promote keeping online spend by Irish customers here in Ireland.”

For her, the relationship is symbiotic; she is keen to cheerlead for Guaranteed Irish in much the same way that the organisation is for its member companies.