If there ever was a man to know a thing or two about the haulage industry, it’s Marty Mannion.
(Pictured Above - Ciarán Davitt, Marty Mannion & Niall Davitt with their Hino lorries and loading shovel at Mannion Quarry & Plant Hire, Lettershea, Clifden, Co. Galway)
At 75-years of age, Marty is on the cusp of celebrating 50 years in business. Hailing from the picturesque Gaeltacht region of Connemara, Co. Galway, Marty was brought up on a mixed farm.
“My father Paddy worked for the forestry and had a small farm, cattle, sheep and some Connemara ponies in the townland of Emloughmore, near Ballynahinch in Galway.” Marty recalled.
The Mannion family currently have approximately 200-acres of land, as well as a share of commonage in Roundstone. Although Marty never really held much of an interest in farming, he still keeps stock to this day, some blackface sheep and a Connemara pony.
“We have 200 acres of land and commonage in Roundstone bog complex.” Marty Explained to Kevin of That’sFarming.
“I never had much interest in farming and today we have blackface sheep and a Connemara pony.” He continued.
Though Marty does not hold the same passion as his father Paddy had for agriculture, the ‘grá’ seems to have been passed down to his 11-year-old grandson, Ciarán. The Young farmer even keeps some sheep of his own and also holds a strong interest in Connemara ponies.
“My grandson Ciarán has really taken an interest in farming, especially sheep. He has Shropshire Sheep and their lambs. He’s a great lad, he feeds the sheep every day before and after school. He also has a great love of Connemara ponies, like my father.” Marty said.
“It’s fantastic to see someone so young with such a great work ethic, he is dedicated to his animals and he’s far more organised than the rest of us.” Marty added.
(Ciarán Davitt on his grandfather Marty Mannion’s farm in Emloughmore, Connemara, Co. Galway)
Marty’s Journey/History of Mannion Quarry and Plant Hire -
Always interested in machinery, upon leaving school Marty soon took on his first full-time role, working for Galway County Council driving plant machinery. This was followed by a few years working as a machinery operator for other people before Marty's life changed in many ways.
“When I left school, I worked for Galway County Council driving plant machinery. I drove for other people for a few years and in 1969, the year I got married, I bought my own digger a Massey Ferguson 50B.” Marty reminisced.
“I mainly did land and bog drainage, forestry preparation, site development and roadworks.”
Marty’s journey into the haulage sector began shortly after his marriage to Anne, with his mother giving them a site on which to build their family home. This site, based near Lettershea, Clifden, also contained a quarry which was being used by the County Council for many years. It was this quarry that led to the foundation of Mannion Quarry and Plant Hire.
“My mother Barbara gave us a site for our house, just out the road in Lettershea. On the land was a quarry that was being used by the County Council for as long as I can remember.” Marty recalled.
“In the beginning, I used a tractor and trailer to deliver the building stone.” He added.
It wasn’t long until Marty then purchased his first lorry, an AEC unity and flatbed trailer in 1979.The first tipper lorry added to the fleet coincided with a tragedy for the family in 1993, as Marty’s con Gearóid died at 21-years-old from Muscular Dystrophy.
“After the death of our son in 1993, I bought my first tipper truck, a DAF.” Marty explained.
Marty pictured below digging a site in his JCB early 1980s.
Mannion Quarry & Plant Hire (MQPH) provide stone aggregates in the Connemara region.They operate with a team of three drivers, including Marty himself who still drives to this day.
“We have three drivers including myself.” Marty noted.
“Our drivers, Jimmy Dundass and Mairtín Curran are the backbone of our business and we are very lucky to have them.” He added.
Pictured Above - Karen & Marty Mannion at Mannion Quarry & Plant Hire
A true family-run operation, Marty is joined within the team by his wife, Anne, who runs the day-to-day side of the business and his daughter, Karen, who returned home from college to help the business transform into what it is today and his daughter Sinead, who is in control of accounts and I.T.
“It’s a real family affair. My wife, Anne who is a retired school teacher, runs the day to day side of the business and after she finished college, our daughter Karen came back to run the business and made it what it is today.” said Marty.
“Our other daughter, Sinéad, does accounts and IT.he adds.
The team are also helped out by Marty’s grandson Niall, who loves all things haulage and machinery related. He is the man responsible for keeping the fleet in pristine condition shape and regularly spends his weekends maintaining, cleaning and adding accessories to the lorries.
“Niall keeps the lorries in tip-top shape and many Saturdays are spent cleaning and maintaining them.” Marty told Kevin of That'sFarming.
“He takes such pride in his trucks and he likes to accessorize them with lights and stickers. Unfortunately, there aren’t many truck shows near us, but we try and attend any truck related events possible.” He continued.
All products provided by the team of Mannion Quarry and Plant hire are CE certified and they include Clause 804 (T1 Struc), crusher run, quarry run, 3” clean, 6” clean, 2” clean and 1” clean.
“We hope to extend our product range shortly.” Marty told Kevin of That’sFarming.
“We supply to local contractors, builders and Galway County Council. We are very grateful for all of their custom over the years.”
Currently within the fleet of Mannion Quarry and Plant hire is a team of four lorries, all Hino. The pride and joy is a 410hp 2008 Hino 700. Other trucks include a 2003 Hino FS, 360 Hp, a 2004 Hino FY, 360 Hp, and a 2004 Hino FY, 360 Hp.
Make - Hino
Model - 700
Year - 2008Power - 410hp
“The pride and joy of the fleet 08 Hino 700 – 410 hp” says the haulier.
The future of Mannion Quarry and Plant Hire -
Marty knows his time behind the wheel is coming to an end, though he is in no doubt over the future of the company.
He hopes that his grandchildren will someday take the reins and bring the family business onto the next level, with 15-year-old Niall already having highlighted his intentions to take over.
“I’ll keep going for as long as I can,” said the Galway man.
“I would love for my children and grandchildren to take MQPH to the next level, who knows where that may be… My grandson Niall aged 15 loves the quarry and after college, he intends to take over.”
Niall hopes to have a fleet of grey lorries with yellow and white stripes in the future, though until then, the current team will continue their dedicated work, looking at improving their enterprise in any way possible.
“One day I’d like to have a fleet of yellow with white stripe and grey body lorries with Mannion blazoned across the windshield” Niall said proudly.
“We are always researching and trying to find new methods to enhance our products while being sustainable and environmentally conscience.” Marty added.
Although Marty admits the sector in which they operate is uncertain and full of hurdles, the family have no plans to slow down anytime soon.
(Marty's grandson Niall pictured below)
Why Haulage -
For Marty, haulage is simply all he has ever known and although approaching his 50th year in the industry, his passion has not waned in any way. He enjoys the variety of the job and retains the same 'grá' as he had back in the late 1960's.
“I’m not the sort of man who likes to hang around. Every day is something different and you never know what’s going to happen next.” He said to Kevin Forde of That’sFarming.
“I love what I do, I still get up at 5 am, 6 days a week, with the same enthusiasm as I would have had 50 years ago. My whole life’s work is in the company.” He added.
Marty says he has made many friends over the course of his fifty years on the road and he is confident that the future of Mannion Quarry and Plant hire is in good hands.
“Over the years I have made friends all over the country, through diggers and the quarry. I must know every road in Ireland.” He said.
“I want to keep going until one day when my daughters and grandsons take over. The future is bright if it’s in their hands.” He concluded.
Do you want to follow the journey of Marty and the team of Mannion Quarry and Plant Hire? You can do so here.Are you working in the haulage sector? Want to share your story and be featured in our Haulage series? If this sounds like you, contact us now by email at Kevyfor@gmail.com.