Donegal Pens brothers stock up from Storm Rachel

Ronan and Conor with a tree blown down in Storm Rachel.(Non-working chainsaw used as a photo prop only).

Ronan and Conor with a tree blown down in Storm Rachel.(Non-working chainsaw used as a photo prop only).

DONEGAL teenage entrepreneurs Ronan and Conor McGarvey were quick off the mark yesterday to ensure any fallen trees ‘wood-n’t’ go to loss.

The crafty Loughanure brothers put an alert on their Donegal Pens Facebook page asking to be notified of any trees blown down by Storm Rachel.


On Thursday afternoon they got a call about a tree down near Annagry and off they went with the help of a trained chainsaw operator to salvage the wood.

The former Dragons Den stars make pens from eighteen different wood types and never turn down an opportunity to stock up when something becomes available.

Ronan, 17, and Conor, 14, set up Donegal Pens in 2010 and it has proved hugely successful for them with worldwide sales. They have over thirty retail outlets in Ireland the three resellers in Germany.

Last year (2014) their website had 1.2 million page hits. They estimate that yesterday’s fallen tree will give them the makings of around 250 pens.

“It was great to get it and now we’ll get it sliced up in the coming weeks. We had a few calls about others as well so we’ll be checking them out too,” said Conor.

The boys use a lot of Bog Oak in their pens as it has proven to be the biggest seller, particularly with sales abroad. Their current stock of Bog Oak came from bogland outside Ballyshannon.

Ronan said that they are fortunate with people offering them timber although some types can be difficult to source including plum, yew and laburnum.


“People are great if they have fallen trees or unused timber. Most of it we can use but some we can’t because of the timber type. We don’t refuse any as our motto here is – ‘if we can’t turn it, we can burn it”, he said.

The boys have installed a stove in their workshop where they burn the wood scrap pieces that provides the heating for the building so nothing is wasted as such.

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