|John Joe and Helena Burke.|
Award winning dealership JJ Burke Car Sales are this month celebrating 45 years in business with a birthday party on Thursday 21 March from 6pm to 9pm in their state of the art Ballinrobe property, writes Trish Whelan.
The party will host special performances from X Factor Brendan Murray who is also a brand ambassador for JJ Burke Car Sales along with Multi-platinum award winning band Keywest.
John Joe and Helena Burke saw an opportunity to set up a garage of their own in 1974 on Abbey Street, they listened to their entrepreneurial spirit opening a thriving business fixing tractors and cars. They then bought a 2.5-acre site on the Claremorris Road in 1984 building a new garage housing a one car showroom, offices and a workshop.
They can now look upon their bustling enterprise that still has their long time aim of customer service as it cores value. Joseph Burke, dealer principal said; “When Dad opened his first garage on Abbey Street, he never thought it would amount to what we are delighted to have today. I started working with him in 1999 and am proud to be now running the business with my sisters Karen and Pauline. Of course, Mam and Dad are still here when we need them for support and advice.”
John Joe Burke said; “When myself and Helena decided to open the garage all those years ago we knew we had started something special. We bought the Claremorris Road site in 1984 and from there we took on the Austin Rover franchise in 1986 followed by Peugeot in 1987 and then Isuzu in 1998. We were becoming one of the biggest dealerships in Mayo. With all this growth we had to extend the garage and in 2001 we expanded to a five-car showroom, six bay workshop and a state-of-the-art body shop. Demand for variety was increasing so became the franchise partnership with Subaru in 2008. Then finally the appointment of Renault and Dacia dealers in 2013 making it the success it is today.”
The garage has had many aesthetic changes over the years and in 2014 the showroom extended to a fourteen car showroom with further developments coming for a ten-bay workshop and three bay valeting area and wash bay making JJ Burke Car Sales one of the largest new and used car dealerships in the West of Ireland.
“We have gone through tough times over the years however we are still here down solely to the hard work of our staff and to our loyal customers supporting us over the years.” John Joe continued; “I am a proud man when I walk through these doors to see my three children now at the helm. Michael Shaughnessy with us 34 years is one man that has been through thick and thin with us and I am delighted he is here to celebrate the 45 years. He was the recipient of Technician of the Year award last year. Next to Mike is Gerry Donnelly, he is with us 17 years as our General Manager and Financial Controller, another credit to the business as are all our staff.”
The business is family run with John Joe and Helena’s three adult children Joseph, Pauline and Karen, now directors (pictured). Helena said; “Joseph, Pauline and Karen eat, sleep and breathe the business. They are always on the other end of the phone, whether it is a Monday or a Sunday, day or night. They work really close with all the staff who I am most grateful for as they are really the backbone of the business.”
JJ Burke Car Sales extend an open invitation to everyone to join them on the 21 of March from 6pm to 9pm helping them kick off the party weekend with music from X Factor's Brendan Murray and the award-winning multi-platinum artists, Keywest. This is not just about the JJ Burke team but about the community who has gotten us here.”
The party will be followed by a weekend of promotions on all their new and used cars throughout the dealership.