Mr Billy Gallagher: Omagh Shirt and Collar Factory

Wednesday 14 October 2015:  Mr Billy Gallagher: Omagh Shirt and Collar Factory

Billy Gallagher
Billy Gallagher [Left] with brother Paul, Probus President

Billy started his talk by giving a short history of the Gallagher family’s involvement in the shirt making business having established factories, at various times, in Lifford, Strabane and, in 1948, in Omagh.. The Gallagher family had started in shirt making in 1888 when Paul Gallagher took over Porter’s factory in the Derry Road, Strabane. The acquisition of a factory in Lifford followed and in 1948 the factory in Kevlin Road, Omagh was established in conjunction with the well-known firm of Austin Reed. Ultimately there was a board room coup and the Gallagher family were ousted retreating to their sole remaining factory in Lifford. Since the factory had only been valued at £2,900.00 the business was no longer viable and had to be sold off to Austin Pierce with Billy being offered the post of Managing Director. In 1969 Billy went to London with a suitcase full of samples and successfully tapped into the flower power/Carnaby Street market. Billy paid warm tribute to the people of Omagh in keeping the factory going for nigh on 50 years. Following members comments the vote of thanks was given by Bob Lingwood who thanked Billy Gallagher for his interesting and quite hilarious talk