The company is older than the Republic of Ireland/Irish Free State having been established in 1901 by Thomas O’Gorman. T O’Gorman and Son Ltd, the original operating company, commenced production in 1902. In 1933 they moved production to Cork’s historic Butter Exchange building on Exchange Street and became firmly established as a specialist company for hats and caps. They were firmly embedded in the trade and manufacture of hats until 1976, when on the night of the 30th December 1976, disaster struck and the factory was burnt out.
Never a family to shirk responsibility to their trade nor their employees, the company recommenced, as quickly as possible, on the Sunbeam site in Blackpool, on Cork’s Northside. That trade has continued to this day. Manufacture, design and quality is firmly in the grasp of Gregory O’Gorman, a Grandson of the original Thomas O’Gorman.
So where does the name Shandon come from? The Butter Exchange, where the company manufactured for over 40 years, is located in an ares of Cork City known as Shandon; which subsequently gave its name to the steeple attached to St Anne’s Church and more particularly to the famous steeple, known locally as the four faced liar or just simply ‘Shandon’.
Gregory is rightly proud of the company’s long tradition in the hat and cap business and derives comfort and satisfaction from continuing to pursue the standards of excellence that were there from the very outset. For many this would be a burden, but for Gregory it is what motivates him and the company on to even greater things.