One Man And His Van Has Ceased Trading

December 2023

It is with a heavy heart that we write that we have been forced to cease trading after nearly 19 years.

In those 19 years, we have survived many hardships, including the fall of the Celtic tiger only 2 years into our existence. We diversified to survive, being one of the first in the country to introduce an IKEA delivery service in 2008 when they opened their first store in Belfast, then later from their Dublin store. We ran this service for 10 years and it was hugely successful. We ended this service in 2018 when IKEA introduced their own delivery service.

We always carried out house moves, but we concentrated on growing that service after we stopped the IKEA service. While we had a strong customer base here locally and nationally, our mainstay was our UK service, which saw us travelling back and forth almost weekly during the busier periods. Unfortunately, following the UK’s 2016 referendum, the UK left ‘The EU’ officially on 31st January 2020. Overnight, this caused a lot of red tape for goods moving between Ireland and the UK, which involved customs declarations and a lot more cost for many businesses relying on the trade between the two countries. While we managed to get through the next few years with the extra paperwork, we knew that in January 2024 the UK would be commencing their own customs checks, which for us meant even more paperwork and potential for delays and higher costs. This was a major influence in our decision to cease trading.

In January 2020, absolutely nobody could have predicted that 2 months later the world would come to a standstill with a global pandemic we now know as COVID, and the length of time it was going to affect the world. Again, this was a tough time for us, as it was for most businesses, but we came out the other side with few scars thankfully. One thing we learned from this event was to slow down and live life. So, this was another factor in our decision.

The nails in the coffin though have come from two events:

  1. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which caused an energy crisis that would see fuel prices rise from a low of roughly €1.30/ltr to a high of over €2/ltr by mid-2022. This had a knock-on effect and all our costs quickly rose.
  2. The housing crisis in Ireland which saw those who can afford it paying way over the odds for rental accommodation and home ownership. The unfortunate ones who have been priced out of the market have been left in dire situations, some living in squalor but too afraid to complain, for fear of being kicked out on the street with nowhere to go. Therefore, this has caused a stagnation in the removals business in 2023, which saw us have the quietest year on record and cemented our decision to close the doors.

While it is sad that the business has come to an end, we look back with fond memories of the places we’ve seen and the people we’ve met along the way, some of whom we can now call our dear friends. We could tell many great stories of our travels and experiences (like the story of the giant cockerel pedalo we delivered to a lake in Connemara!) and you never know, they might turn into a book one day….if there’s any publisher out there who might be interested.

So, we’re signing off by thanking all of our amazing customers, suppliers, staff, family and friends who have been part of our incredible journey. Time now to hang up the keys for the last lime and start the next chapter in our lives.

Our email address will still be operational for a few months while we go through the motions of shutting things down if you want to get in touch.

All the best. Fintan & Wendy