Carlow-based Cheetah Electric Fencing was founded by electrician Jim George in 1973 to manufacture electric fences to contain livestock. Today the company has about 60 per cent of the electric fence market here.
Brought up on a farm, he started his business by travelling all over Ireland collecting faulty electric fences and repairing them. He subsequently designed and started to make his own fences, producing his first units from a caravan in the back garden. His wife Maire ran the administration side of the business from the kitchen table while rearing four children.
In an Irish Times article Padraic George, who has been running the company for the past twelve years reveals,
“My Dad was very ‘hands on’ in the business from the design and engineering perspective,” he says. “He was constantly coming up with new designs and looking at ways of improving and upgrading our products from a practical point of view.
“He didn’t try to expand into export markets because he believed you needed to be close to your customers if you’re producing a critical product. You have to be there to provide back up. We sell mainly through the co-ops and Cheetah is a very trusted local brand.
“Of course, the company has experienced difficult times during its history when farming was suffering, but we’ve coped with that by scaling back on costs.”
The company’s customers are primarily in the agricultural, equestrian, commercial and industrial sectors, and include Dairygold, Glanbia, Connacht Gold co-operative and more.
“Our focus has always been on producing durable quality products that perform well in difficult conditions,” George says.
Over the decades Cheetah have been involved in the development of high power energisers. Working closely with the farmers that use our products and are increasingly aware of the need to upgrade design as requirements become more demanding. To date Cheetah has become the best selling electric fence brand in Ireland and also the only Irish made electric fence manufacturer.