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Mannion Quarry and Plant Hire)

Mannion Quarry & Plant Hire provides stone aggregates and construction plant services from its base in Connemara. Irish Trucker heard all about the long-established business and its fleet of HINO trucks from Karen Mannion recently. 

This September marks 51 years in business for Marty Mannion and the Connemara native isn’t about to call it a day any time soon. 

After all, the 76-year-old has been immersed in quarry and plant hire work most of his life, so it’s little wonder why Mannion Quarry and Plant Hire (MQPH) celebrated half a century in business last year.

Marty’s daughter Karen worked for the family business for 13 years and was good enough to take the time to tell Irish Trucker all about the ins and outs of what is now a third generation family company. 

“We’re based in Lettershea, Clifden, Co Galway and my father started up the business in September 1969,” outlined Karen. 

“He’d worked for the Galway County Council driving plant machinery and eventually bought his own digger and went out on his own. It just grew from there.”

The digger Marty bought was a Massey Ferguson 50B and he’d mainly focus on land and bog drainage, forestry preparation, site development and road works at the time. 

1969 was also the year that saw Marty marry his loving wife Anne, now a retired school teacher, who runs the day to day side of the business. 

His mother Barbara had given them a site for their house in Lettershea and on the land was a quarry which was being used by the Galway County Council at the time. 

Marty used a tractor and trailer to deliver the building stone at the beginning before buying his first lorry in 1979 - an AEC unit and flatbed trailer. 

After the death of his son in 1993 (Gearóid died at 21 years of age, he had muscular dystrophy), Marty bought his first tipper truck, a DAF. 

From there, the family-run business continued to grow and now its fleet is completely made up of HINO trucks. 

“It’s a family affair and we provide the different ranges of stone aggregates to our customers,” said Karen, who worked for MQPH for 13 years. 

“Our main customers are Galway County Council, regional and local construction companies and of course we still supply to local farmers and businesses as well.” 

After finishing college, Karen came back to run the family business and, as Marty says himself, “made it what it is today”. 

Her son 17-year-old son Niall is a truck enthusiast and has had a keen interest in the quarry since he was knee-high. He looks set to take on a large role in the business after he finishes college. 

Marty’s second daughter, Sinéad, is another driving force behind the company, looking after its accounts and IT.

Speaking of driving, it’s what long time truckers Jimmy Dundass and Mairtín Curran do best as they continue to be very much the backbone of Mannion Quarry & Plant Hire, going out on the road six days a week.

All of MQPH’s products are CE certified and they include Clause 804 (T1 Struc), crusher run, quarry run, 3” clean, 6” clean, 2” clean and 1” clean and they hope to extend their product range soon. 

Right now business is on the up, according to Karen, having been shut down like so many during Coronavirus pandemic. 

“Business has been okay since getting back on May 18th,” she said. 

“When we were closed down during the Covid-19 lockdown we had the chance to do some internal upgrades. 

“My father is 76 years of age and he’s blessed with good health and had to be at something during the lockdown. That’s just the kind of man he is, all he knows is work.

“He’s still able to drive and he’s known far and wide for the work that he does.” 

A good reputation stems from good work and, for the past two decades now, Marty has be using HINO trucks only when it comes to the transportation of his stone aggregates. 

Right now there are four of them in the fleet, with the ’08 700-410hp being Niall’s “pride and joy”. 

Marty takes his trucks across to Murrays of Mountbellew whenever they require servicing and maintenance. 

“We very much rely on Paul Murray and his team in Mountbellew to service the HINOs for us,” said Karen.

“We’ve had a long working relationship with them and have found them very reliable over the years.”

Reliability has been key for Mannion Quarry & Plant Hire too, but perhaps the most impressive thing about the company has been its longevity. 

Remarkably, the company has now entered into a sixth decade and Marty Mannion continues to be its catalyst with the help of his family. 

“He’s got a lot of energy and, being honest, it was tough for him during the first few weeks of COVID-19 and the lockdown,” said Karen, whose sons Niall and Ciarán are the next generation coming through in Lettershea. 

“What he focused in on was maintenance in the quarry. Away from work then, he focused a lot on exercise and walked up to three times a day.” 

Marty himself would love to see his children and grandchildren take MQPH to the next level, as they continually research and try to find new methods to enhance their products while being sustainable and environmentally conscience. 

One thing for sure is that the veteran Managing Director will keep going for as long as he can. 

Marty Mannion is a man that loves what he does and still gets up at 5am six days a week – even 50 years after he first set-up shop. 

He’s keen to keep things going until the next generation of Mannions take over and, going by the evidence so far, the future looks very bright indeed should it be left in their hands. 

Mannion Quarry and Plant Hire
Co Galway
Tel: 095 21264
E-mail: [email protected]

Find us on facebook @Mannion Quarry & Plant Hire 

Published in Irish Trucker & Light Commercials magazine, Sept/Oct 2020, Vol 23 No 4