Hughie Gallagher and Aodán Ó Gallchóir of Corveen Glen
A number of different career paths and interests has led a father and son team to establish and grow their meat-based business in the heart of the Gaoth Dobhair Gaeltacht.
Well known figures, Hughie Gallagher and his son Aodán Ó Gallchóir, established their family-owned business Corveen Glen in January 2020.
Hughie recalls that two years of preparation led to their business being formed.
The business survived the difficult pandemic period, which saw many businesses go to the wall, and they now supply local shops and hotels with their own beef and pork products which are produced locally.
A background in production and maintenance led Hughie to be able to set up a meat processing unit.
The unit also contains a cold room: “Besides the wiring of the unit, we did all the work ourselves. All the years that I spent working in maintenance came to the fore with the project because to be absolutely truthful if we had to pay someone to carry out the work, it wouldn’t be there,” Hughie said.
Over the last few months, many people will be familiar with seeing Hughie in the local shops in Gaoth Dobhair placing his bacon on the shelves.
His bacon has become a firm favourite with people across the Gaoth Dobhair and Cloughaneely area.
“We really enjoy the dry cure now and we hope our customers do too,” they said.
Hughie’s father, Charlie Gallagher owned a small farm in the Corveen Glen and this, in some respect, may have been the reason that Hughie bought several pigs in recent years.
As time progressed, Hughie and Aodán wanted to include their pigs in a business project. A culinary background dictated that Hughie understood the wide range of possibilities available to them.
However, he wanted to obtain expert knowledge in relation to how to cure and smoke with his own meat products so he undertook a trip to River Cottage in Devon and learnt about curing. River Cottage has given millions of TV viewers a taste for great cooking since 1999, when it first appeared on Channel 4.
The show has changed the eating habits of a nation and improved the welfare and sustainability of animals and fish.
The businessmen are plainning towards the future. Hughie said: “The ultimate plan is to have our own pigs again.”
Hughie is working on plans to incorporate his meats into a burger: “There is no end to the possibilities of this business.
“ We are looking at other meat products. It just takes a while to research them. The entire process of introducing new products is a costly one due to laboratory testing under FSAI regulations,” he said.
Hughie said that if it weren’t for the experience that he amassed in different areas over the years, the business would have proved very difficult to establish.
“Údarás na Gaeltachta have continually supported our business with great eagerness, they deserve huge credit for the supports they have available for local businesses,” he said.
Food safety trainer
The processing unit is set up and is inspected by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
“In this regard, you need to be sure and certain of your food safety codes and regulations.
“As well as qualifying as a chef from Killybegs, I am also a food safety trainer, as well,” he said.
Hughie and Aodán very much enjoy the business aspects which are affiliated with their Gaeltacht-based business.
Aodán is accountable for the financial aspect of the business and also works as an administrator.
Aodán has also enjoyed producing a website for the business alongside Aiden Spence.
For more information please go to www.corveenglen.ie where you will find further information.
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