Double delight for Tirlán CountryLife Athboy

20 Mar , 2024  

These are exciting times for Tirlán CountryLife in Athboy, Co. Meath which recently celebrated the official opening of its newly-refurbished and extended store, and was also delighted to have branch manager Darren Kelly shortlisted for Manager of the Year at the 2023 Retail Excellence Ireland Awards.

The official opening of the store and newly-added garden centre, the launch of its new Tirlán CountryLife brand and new-look concept store in Athboy took place on Friday, October 13 last. This is a new and exciting step into the future for the Tirlán family as a whole and the Athboy branch is the second in its 52-strong branch network to receive significant investment.

The free, family-focused and fun event included competitions and giveaways, a BBQ, children’s entertainment, store discounts, food and drinks as well as a mobile farm, live demonstrations with the in-store horticulturist and much more.

In-store promotions on farm hardware, clothing, footwear and garden hand tools were held throughout the weekend, while customers received free wildflower seeds with purchases and were entered into a draw. There was a great turnout of farmer shareholders and members of the public who joined in the celebrations.

“The store has doubled in size since we upgraded it and opened our new garden centre in April. Our staff has also doubled,” Darren Kelly says.

“Even though we’re proud to be 100% owned by Irish farmers, we’re much more than an agri store. For example, 90% of our plants are sourced from local growers and nurseries. Tirlán is also the second-biggest garden centre in the country. We receive wonderful support from the farming and wider community. We have a great customer-base who we will always go the extra mile to look after.”

In a further boost, Darren is also a Top 5 finalist in the Manager of the Year category at the Retail Excellence Ireland Awards which take place in The Galmont Hotel, Galway on November 11. Over the past 25 years, the Retail Excellence Awards have been a beacon of recognition for outstanding achievements in the retail sector.

“It’s great to be nominated. It reflects well on the whole team here,” he enthuses.

“Tirlán put my name forward for the award. I had to fill out a questionnaire online before doing an interview in person. A manager’s job is to make sure that their staff are working to the best of their ability and are happy in their job. You have to look after your staff as well as your customers.”

A proud Athboy man, Darren joined his local Tirlán branch straight out of college in 2013 before going travelling. On returning to Ireland in 2015, he became manager of the nearby Kilberry branch before returning to Athboy as branch manager in 2019. He is responsible for the management of all site operations, managing the branch in line with the set annual budgets, developing customer relationships and growing the business among other things.

Open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays (the store is open during lunch), Tirlán CountryLife Athboy is a one-stop shop for all your farm, gardening, outdoor living, home and heating, tools and DIY, clothing and footwear, and pet and equine needs.

Tirlán is now a 100% farmer-owned co-operative that is focused on delivering for the farmer. It is committed to delivering the best possible milk and grain prices. The strength of this business is directly linked to the level of trade that you do with your co-op. Tirlán provides technical advice and a range of supports such as diet formulation, soil health planning, grass and forage budgeting, animal health support and sustainability, especially through challenging times.

Tirlán’s 52 CountryLife and FarmLife stores carry a wide range of products at competitive prices to suit all your farming requirements. Formerly Glanbia, Tirlán is investing over €11 million in developing and upgrading its entire branch network. The investment is part of a range of measures to future-proof its agri, retail and garden centre services in rural communities across 11 counties.

The branch improvements are a further sign of Tirlán’s commitment to serving the evolving needs of its loyal customers in rural communities into the future. It also clearly demonstrates its promise to support local jobs and rural economies, as outlined in the co-op’s ‘Living Proof’ sustainability strategy.

The investment plan also includes a significant upgrading of branch IT infrastructure with new technologies that will make the overall customer experience more enjoyable and efficient. 

Tirlán Chairman John Murphy said the branches are the heartbeat of many local communities and this investment signifies the co-op’s commitment to playing its part in enriching the lives of those living in rural Ireland.

“As a farmer-owned co-operative, Tirlán is committed to developing a modern network of stores that service the evolving needs of farmers and the communities we serve,” he commented.

“We will be developing and upgrading our branches over the next four-five years. We will improve the customer experience across all our branches in order to better service the evolving needs of our customers in communities. Many of these communities have lost their local post office, shops and other services in recent years and we aim to play our part in ensuring they remain vibrant and self-sufficient.”

As Tirlán CountryLife Athboy enters a new and exciting era, its affable manager would like to take this opportunity to thank its customers and suppliers for their continued support as well as its professional and courteous team for their hard work, dedication and expertise.

Tirlán CountryLife Athboy



Co. Meath,

C15 HE33.

Telephone: 046 9432 552

Website: www.countrylife.ie/store/Athboy

First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 11 No 6, December 2023/January 2024