Burnfoot teenager Sean Og Harrigan developed a love of woodturning when he was just a young child, taking inspiration from the skilled craftsmanship of his father and grandfather before him.
As he grew older, the now 14-year-old decided the extra wood being thrown out was a waste and decided to create original pieces from them.
Joining up at school with Oisin McLaughlin from Muff, ‘Inish Woodworking’ was born and last week, the second year Scoil Mhuire students won the intermediate category in the All Ireland Student Enterprise Awards.
Speaking to the ‘Journal,’ the duo told how they were ‘over the moon’ at the win, something they ‘really didn’t expect.’
Inish Woodworking creates natural bowls, candlesticks, tea light holders, bread boards, wine racks and more. Sean Og is the craftsman behind the business, while Oisin is responsible for “sales, research, marketing and promotion.”
The combination of both their skills was seen as a winning one, not only at their school but by the local Donegal Enterprise Office, who named them their regional winners in the county heats of the competition.
Both are very enthusiastic about the business, with Sean Og telling how he especially likes creating the natural bowls, as well as working with “exotic timbers such as African and Indian timbers.”
They described the national finals as “scary but exciting” and said the standard of work and ideas in their category led them to believe they wouldn’t win.
“When they called out the runners up, we thought: ‘Well, that’s it.’ said Oisin, the son of Mura and Gina McLaughlin.
Sean Og, the son of Sean and Deborah Harrigan, said they were “very surprised but happy” when they did.
The duo were keen to credit teachers Martina McBride, Seamus Baldrick and Claire McGovern for their help in preparing for the competition, as well as Bizzprint, which printed materials for them, Donegal Signs, Supervalu, Buncrana,Richard Tedstone, Sean Og’s granda Frank Harrigan who provided the timber, uncle Barry Harrigan and all their families.
They are hoping to expand the business into the future and any businesses who’d like to stock the pieces are encouraged to get in touch.
Scoil Mhuire principal Rosaleen Grant said all in the school were “so very proud” of their two students.
She added how Sean Og and Oisin “worked together as a great team and complement each other’s skills.”
“They have a great future ahead of them and this is just the beginning,” said Ms Grant.