MacCann & Byrne is a family-owned business based in Athboy, Co. Meath. Established in 1906, the company prides itself on the production and distribution of the highest quality timber and building products. MacCann & Byrne promotes sustainable forest management through FSC & PEFC certification. The company works in partnership with Scandinavian sawmills and leading European manufacturers to maintain the highest standards of quality across its product range.
MacCann & Byrne’s reputation is renowned for quality and service and its standards lay the foundation for all of us to gain the benefits of forests economically, socially and environmentally.
MacCann & Byrne has had many transformations over the years: from chemist, to auctioneers, to county town retail hardware. Nowadays, it the most recognisable timber merchant and builders’ suppliers in Ireland and continues to grow from strength to strength.
MacCann & Byrne was originally founded in 1906 when Elizabeth MacCann, née Fagan, married chemist John Byrne. John had previously worked as an assistant to Elizabeth’s father Thomas in Fagan’s Chemist shop in the town, and later took over the business and traded under his own name out of Athboy Medical Hall. On their marriage, Elizabeth and John ran this business, known as MacCann & Byrne, together, and moved the operation to Upper Bridge Street where it has stood for more than 100 years.
During its early years, MacCann & Byrne was best known as an auctioneers – though over the years it supplied everything from agricultural equipment and animal treatment to tea and tobacco (the sign for which can still be read above the shop door). In the 1950s, John P. MacCann inherited what was still quite a small business and began to concentrate on retail hardware. John grew the business significantly over the next 30 years, with MacCann & Byrne stores opening in Navan and Swords at one point. John’s success as an independent retail hardware merchant saw him become a founding member of the trading group AHL – Associated Hardware Ltd.
John’s eldest son James A. MacCann took over the running of MacCann & Byrne in 1985. Jimmy, as he was better known, envisioned a future for the business away from retail hardware, in machining high-quality imported timber for trade, which is still MacCann & Byrne’s primary focus today. This undertaking was assisted by the expansion of MacCann & Byrne into the lower yard in the 1980s and Newman’s Mill, located on the other side of the road, in the 1990s. Tragically, Jimmy did not live to see this endeavour to full fruition; he passed away following a horse-riding accident in 2000. Following this, Jimmy’s brothers Richard J. MacCann and Ian B. MacCann took proprietorship of the business.
Today, the core of MacCann and Byrne is the machining of high-quality whitewood, redwood, larch and Douglas Fir from Europe and Scandinavia. The company also distributes rough timber, laminated panels, sheeting, wood shavings, railway sleepers, wheelbarrows, salt, white cement and lime.
In 2000, Ecological Building Systems was established alongside MacCann & Byrne to provide sustainable airtightness solutions and natural insulation products. Both companies continue to grow in tandem, providing a one-stop-shop for building materials.
MacCann & Byrne and its customers benefit greatly from the lifetime of expertise it has built up in the timber business. The company continues to invest in innovation and sustainability, delivering reliable and trustworthy products as it has done for over 100 years.