Limerick entrepreneur slays the Dragon with his High Nelly


den picCOUNTY Limerick man Marty Mannering, who designs and builds the only bicycles manufactured in Ireland, steered his way to success after his appearance on RTE’s ‘Dragons Den’ business investment programme.

Marty from Cappamore, who was making his second appearance in the Den, had a better outcome this time round, pedalling off with €60,000 and an influential American-based millionaire Dragon to help him bring a traditional Irish product to the rest of the World.

HighNelly Bikes Ltd refurbish vintage bicycles from scrap condition back to the splendour of the days they first hit Ireland’s roads 60 to 100 years ago. Marty has the greatest respect for the products he builds, not only the quality and attention to detail but the historical importance of these vintage bicycles.

He takes pride in the fact that his own grandmother rode 17 miles three times a week to the Smithfield Market in Dublin from County Meath on a high nelly.

“Our first model is the Irish Rover and is a 1910 track bike with nine karat gold lettering. Bicycle manufacturing stopped here in 1974, which was a large industry for Ireland from the early 1930’s,” Marty explained.

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The Limerick entrepreneur will have the model for all to see at this year’s National Ploughing Championships in County Laois this week. The Cappamore man also revealed that he would like to see Prince Harry gifted and riding an Irish built HighNelly in the near future.

Marty is now looking to expand the HighNelly Irish brand and has already launched a clothing range and plans are well under way for an Irish HighNelly whisky amongst other things made here in Ireland.

“We now have an influential millionaire on board, a dealership in the USA, we are also on the official gifts list with the Department Of Foreign Affairs for oversea visits when representing Ireland. The HighNelly bike is back and here to stay,” he concluded.