Lee Valley has designed and made high quality clothing in the village of Inchigeela in West Cork since 1986. Denis Hurley saw a market for a traditional Irish grandfather shirt and began drafting patterns and cutting fabric at home, before calling on the sewing skills of local women who worked from their own homes.
It Began with the Grandfather Shirt
“Bringing you back to a place you thought you’d left forever.”
Selling his shirts in the local fairs and markets in Bantry, Kenmare and Killarney to both farmers and tourists, Denis soon realised there would be a strong export market for his Irish flannel products.
Denis had fond memories of his own grandfather wearing this type of collarless shirt in days gone by, and quickly set about re-kindling this traditional garment.
Lee Valley Ireland
In 1986, Denis and his wife Loretto renovated the old creamery in Inchigeela.
In the olden days this was where local farmers gathered, pasteurised their cow’s milk, made cheese and butter which were then sold on to the butter market in Cork.
Denis started to design and cut his flannel grandfather shirts and with the help of the local outworkers and from this old creamery Lee Valley Ireland was born.
Local Creamery Inchigeela (circa 1960)
Lee Valley Ireland
Using the same soft flannel which he used in his grandfather shirts Denis designed and made his now famous Lee Valley flannel nightwear. By now this product was being exported to all corners of the world.
As demand grew for our Irish Country Clothing we have carefully expanded our range to include several styles of coats, jackets, tweeds, and hats. All of Lee Valley’s designs draw inspiration from the local landscape from fabrics to colours.
Today Lee Valley continues to operate from the village of Inchigeela and have added on to their facilities an outlet store which attracts a large amount of tourists.
Almost three decades on from cutting his first grandfather shirt, the family remain committed to offering high quality Irish country clothing to be treasured forever. It goes to prove that comfort, quality, and durability never go out of style.