Milestones - RED MILLS HORSE

Transformative milestones through time

Get to know Connolly's RED MILLS' history of growth and achievements spanning more than 100 years.

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Early 1800s

Red Mills is one of 131 grain mills in County Kilkenny in the early 1800s.

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1840s

The Connolly family moves to Bagenalstown in 1846. Michael Connolly emigrates to Long Island, New York after the Great Famine in 1849.

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1866

Michael Connolly returns to Ireland to inherit his aunt’s bakery business in Bagenalstown.

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1908

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.

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1908-1938

William Connolly names the company William Connolly and Sons, operating as a sawmill during the First World War, alongside grain milling.

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1939-1950

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.

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1952

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.

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1960s

The 1960s sees almost £160,000 invested into the plant and machinery, mostly for provender milling and horse feed.

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1963

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.

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1969

The installation of flaking technology and a plant occurs at a cost of £51,617.

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1970s

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.

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1980s

More sensitive processes are developed. The first exports of feed to the United Kingdom occurs in 1985.

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1992

A fire devastates the mill. However, this brings about opportunities to rebuild, leading to further modernisation, innovative technology and expansion.

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1997

Red Mills launches in America and acquires two smaller agri-businesses.

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1999

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.

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2006

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.

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2012

Red Mills takes a revolutionary step and begins trading in the Chinese equine market.

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2013

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.

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2017

The Red Mills Store is officially launched in Cillin Hill Retail Park, Kilkenny, servicing our customers’ country lifestyle and equine nutrition requirements.

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2020

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.

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2021

RED MILLS is available in over 80 countries around the world.