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A 'new' type of start-up: co-operatives in Ireland

By: Dr Bridget Carroll | Posted on: 26 Oct 2018

A 'new' type of start-up: co-operatives in Ireland

Since the foundation of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society in 1894, the co-operative movement has evolved beyond its agricultural roots to serve a wide-range of industries.

The study undertaken by Aisling Moroney, Bridget Carroll and Dr Olive McCarthy from the Centre for Co-operative Studies aims to raise awareness of the role of co-operatives in Ireland.

Bridget Carroll explains that the project aims to raise awareness of the role of co-operatives in Ireland.   The focus of the case studies is on the motivations and experiences of these co-operatives including factors facilitating and/or hindering their development.   

The cases cover a range of geographical locations, both urban and rural and a range of sectors from agri-food to retailing to environmental sustainability.  The co-operatives featured are:

  • Aran Islands Energy Co-operative/ Comharchumann Fuinnimh Oileáin Árann Teoranta
  • Donegal Woodlands Owners Co-operative
  • Ring of Kerry Quality Lamb Co-operative
  • Courtmacsherry Community Shop
  • Third Space Co-operative

It is hoped that the cases will be of benefit to groups wishing to establish a co-operative, educators and researchers in need of relevant case studies to demonstrate the roles and practicalities as well as policy issues pertaining to co-operative development and representative/apex bodies involved in the establishment and development of co-operatives.

The research was funded by the Golden Jubilee Trust.

A copy of the report can be found here.

For further information contact Bridget Carroll at or telephone 021 4902070.