Three enterprising Cavan teenagers are keeping busy during lockdown with their agri innovations.

Eoin Bogan from Virginia, recently turned 17 and a Leaving Cert student, has started making stainless steel exhausts, mirror guards and light bars. His innovations have already attracted an enthusiastic response.

“Since a very early age I have always been interested in making and learning skills. When I was 11, I got a wood lathe and taught myself how to turn bowls and other pieces, some of which I sold,” he said.

“Then when I was 15, I was given my grandfather’s old David Brown 1212 and undertook, with help, the restoration of it. This introduced me to working with steel as there was much work to be done on the tractor,” Eoin said.

“When I completed the restoration, I purchased a stick welder and learned how to weld. I really enjoyed working with metal and began exploring ideas for a small business.

Most of my friends have an interest in tractors and modify them with stainless steel exhausts, mirror guards and light bars. Friends asked me if I could make them for them and this led me setting up my business.

“To enable me to make stainless steel accessories, I need additional equipment. I used money I had saved to buy a Tig welder and began sourcing within Ireland the materials that I needed. I wanted to make sure that the materials and lights that I was using were the best quality available on the market,” Eoin said.

“Since setting up and starting a Facebook page, I have had a steady stream of work. I am now making light bars for tractors and small commercial vehicles and stainless steel exhausts for tractors.

“This week I will have my first sets of stainless steel tractor mirror guards available and already have a substantial number of orders for them. There are a small number of other makers of these accessories but there is plenty of work for everyone,” said Eoin.

“When I complete my Leaving Cert, I want to do an apprenticeship in stainless steel welding and continue to run my own small business as a side line. Eventually I would like to own my own stainless steel fabrication business,” he said.

Sandblast and respray

His friends Matthew and Aaron Byers from Ballyjamesduff, aged 17 and 15, are Leaving Cert and Junior Cert students who are also attracting attention for their innovations.

We sandblast and respray farm equipment. We first got the idea to get into this when we decided to do up a 16ft silage trailer that belonged to our father. We really enjoyed the experience that we got from doing it. As we progressed, we started taking on jobs for other people.

“When people started to show a big interest in what we were achieving, we decided to purchase a sandblaster which would increase our efficiency by a lot in the long term,” they said.

“There is a constant demand for jobs to be done especially nearing the summer months when farmers are more that ever looking to get their equipment in immaculate condition. The main reason we got into this business at the beginning was because there were not many doing it in our area and we felt it would be a great business opportunity, especially at our age,” the brothers said.

“Our biggest aim over the next few months is to get more into the engineering side as we have been brought up in an environment where there is always something being made or fixed. We want to combine this with the work that we already do,” they said.