Dublin Road, Galway


Bradley : Trusted for generations

Bradley Motor Works has a trusted history going back generations and is part of Irish motoring history.

Founded by self-made man, Bob Bradley more than forty years the business continues to grow today as the new generation pushes forward.

Survival is no mean feat in these times but when Bradley Motor Works in Renmore opens their doors to customers each day, Bob is secure in the knowledge that no less than three of his six children are involved in the family business.

Bob, who is now semi-retired and spends some of the year in Spain, started in the motor trade as a mechanic, what is now called a technician, because it’s all about electronics.

In fact, he is the first to admit that if the car he is driving broke down now, he wouldn’t know where to start to repair it. It would just be a matter of a phone call of course as all the cars he drives now have AA cover, but it shows how the workings of vehicles have become so electronic.

There was no doubt that in his day, Bob was a great mechanic who built up a reputation for good service and which eventually led him to buying the site of the former Malachy Burke builders’ yard on the Dublin Road in 1992 and building a state-of-the-art showroom. His son Robert was still at school when he helped on the building site, showing an early interest in working in the family business. Robert is joined in the business by his sisters, Gillian and Tara they are the ones now driving the business forward.

Bob is a native of Athenry who came into the city to take up an apprenticeship in the Salthill Service Station. He was a fast learner and loved cars, both driving them and knowing how they worked.

By the time he left there, he was running their workshop after just five years. Then he set up in a service station in Newcastle on a site which is now in the middle of the Quincentenary Bridge.

His move to the city meant he was also destined to meet his bride-to-be, Peggy McCarthy of Woodquay. They met in Seapoint, where most love stories of that era (1960s and 70s) began.

Ever ambitious, Bob moved to Water Lane in 1977 onto the site of Clada Minerals. It was here he developed a reputation for good quality servicing and repairs using advanced equipment including SUN tester diagnostics and Rolling Road, which was previously only available in Dublin and Belfast.

Business was good there, he remembers, and he added a crash repair centre and expanded into service and overhaul of Automatic Transmissions, again a first for the West of Ireland.

During this time, he was rearing his family in Dangan and getting involved in establishing the Galway Motor Rally through his involvement with Irish motor sport. He has served as both its Clerk and President and sat on national motor rally committees too, such was, and still is, his interest in promoting motor sport.

He not only raced in the rallies, winning many of them, but he also built a racing car from scratch, though only an old black and white photograph and a good oil painting of it by Gillian survives today.

The business has changed dramatically from those early days but one thing remains the same – Bradley Motor Works commitment to its customer and to constantly building this trust.

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