Transformative milestones through time
Get to know Connolly's RED MILLS' history of growth and achievements spanning more than 100 years.
Red Mills is one of 131 grain mills in County Kilkenny in the early 1800s.
The Connolly family moves to Bagenalstown in 1846. Michael Connolly emigrates to Long Island, New York after the Great Famine in 1849.
Michael Connolly returns to Ireland to inherit his aunt’s bakery business in Bagenalstown.
Michael Connolly purchases Red Mills on 15 October 1908 for his son, William. William paints the roof of the mill red to differentiate it from others in the area.
William Connolly names the company William Connolly and Sons, operating as a sawmill during the First World War, alongside grain milling.
The mill thrives during the Second World War, employing up to twenty local people, and providing food and goods on credit for the local community from the shop.
The mill connects to the electrical grid. Liam Connolly takes over the management of the mill and oversees a boom in changing technology and milling techniques.
The 1960s sees almost £160,000 invested into the plant and machinery, mostly for provender milling and horse feed.
A chance meeting between Liam Connolly and Paddy Mullins leads to the development of the horse feed business, a new arm in the business. The first major equine success story is Vulpine, winner of the Irish Grand National in 1967 who fed Connolly’s RED MILLS.
The installation of flaking technology and a plant occurs at a cost of £51,617.
Further investments see the first computerised pay system installed in 1978, with further investments made into the buildings and plant. Lab testing for product quality is implemented.
More sensitive processes are developed. The first exports of feed to the United Kingdom occurs in 1985.
A fire devastates the mill. However, this brings about opportunities to rebuild, leading to further modernisation, innovative technology and expansion.
Red Mills launches in America and acquires two smaller agri-businesses.
A state-of-the-art pet food manufacturing plant is opened in Gowran, just 5 km from RED MILLS in Goresbridge. Connolly’s RED MILLS begins producing high-quality pet food.
Red Mills begins horse feed exports to the Asian market, exporting to Japan. Our revolutionary Nutrient Fresh Management System (NFMS) packaging is launched to ensure optimal levels of freshness.
Red Mills takes a revolutionary step and begins trading in the Chinese equine market.
Connolly’s Red Mills purchases the renowned Foran Equine, blending the equine knowledge of our nutritional experts with Foran Equine supplements for a more expansive product range while sharing our expert knowledge with our customers.
The Red Mills Store is officially launched in Cillin Hill Retail Park, Kilkenny, servicing our customers’ country lifestyle and equine nutrition requirements.
Connolly’s Red Mills completes the purchase of Carr & Day & Martin, the world’s oldest company involved in the manufacturing of equine products. The RED MILLS brand becomes a global powerhouse supplying equine feed, supplements and horse care solutions.
RED MILLS is available in over 80 countries around the world.