Timothy Mahony operated a small textile mill here in the mid 18th century. This was rebuilt and expanded in 1824 for the spinning and weaving of wool and employed some 800 people in the 1880s. It developed an international reputation and was the main industry in the area until it closed in 1973. The mill played a central role in Blarney life. This is reflected in the local children’s rhyme cited below, ‘The Sham’ referring to the Shamrock Co-operative Stores, a company shop where provisions could be bought on credit.
A job in the mill,
A house on the hill,
A book in the Sham,
And a child in the pram.
In 1975 Christy Kelleher purchased the mill and turned it into a successful visitor centre and gift shop. Although no longer a functioning mill it continues as a thriving international business while still retaining its industrial character.
Next stop: Market house and stockings