James Whelan Butchers
When we talk about how societies change, we tend to avert to charismatic politicians, or seismic political events. But often the people who register real change, and real improvement in our daily lives get little recognition for the way in which they have altered how we think, how we act, how we see ourselves. Pat Whelan has changed the way in which Ireland buys meat, and how Ireland thinks about meat, and how Ireland shops for meat. Working initially from a small shop in Clonmel, the James Whelan Butchers empire now stretches far and wide, somehow managing to place a niche product, presented in a boutique style and context, into the mainstream shopping experience. That’s a radical thing to consider, but to do it so successfully, and so comprehensively, is an extraordinary achievement. And there is no sign that Mr Whelan has even gotten into fifth gear as yet, for he remains as driven and dedicated as ever. ‘People are entitled to eat good meat,’ he says simply. Pat Whelan is making it happen, and making things better, day by day.
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