Graham Roberts works hard, and has always worked hard. Aged four, he was scoring a penny every time he washed a fish box for his dad. Aged six, he was helping out with everything. Today, in the Connemara Smokehouse, it is the boss himself who hand-fillets the fish, salts it, smokes it. This is artisanship.
He was pretty much in charge of the smokehouse as a teenager and, with his wife, Saoirse, took over completely in 1997, His tenure has been marked not just by superb smoked fish, but by an impish need to innovate, which has led him to create smoked tuna recipes and products that are the clearest expression of his signature style, using both cold- and hot-smoking techniques. Rick Stein buys it for his Padstow restaurants, a genuine accolade.
Mr Roberts is still young, but he is a man who seems to see time in a long continuum. To see him in the smokehouse at Bunowen Pier, way, way out there in Ballyconneely, way, way out there in Connemara, working with his hands, is to see something operating in an almost mythic timescale.