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Meet Donegal Relocator Maureen Cuddihy

From the Amazon jungle to the tight-knit Atlantic community of Carndonagh, Maureen Cuddihy could tell you a story or two about the extraordinary places she’s lived in her lifetime. She believes all of them are valuable because, as she explains, experience out in the world arms a person with expertise to bring back home when the time is right. For her, that time was when she and her brother were handed the reins to the family business, a five-generation strong metalworks firmly established as an essential part of the local community. 

As ever, Welditz, like many local businesses in Donegal, is thriving, and Maureen believes its success today is down to the level of skill and lived experience that those who are making the move to Donegal bring with them from other parts of the world. It allows them to do business internationally, and, as makers of highly-specialised and challenging to produce items such as jig wires for stents, help save lives as their reach continues to grow.

Tell us the success story behind Welditz

This is a family business. Our father started it 50 years ago. My brother James and I have taken over. 

James is the MD and I'm the other co-director of the business. I deal with the finance and the strategic direction of the business. He deals with the technical side. Since 2018, we have nearly tripled in size, both in revenue terms, but also in terms of people that we have working for us and we have a lot of ambition for the future.

We’ve migrated from local enterprise support to Enterprise Ireland-level support. And that's because we've managed to secure a client based in Barcelona and we are now exporting all over the world. 

We have the skill level here. We have a good design team, a good solutions team, and we know how to make it. We have invested in the latest technology. For example, our fibre optic welders, there are only about 10 of them in the country so far.

We're progressive in that sense around technology because we know that we want to get into the top end of the market for the type of work we do. It's just a bit more lucrative. We'd rather have a smaller, high value company than a big company doing lots of little things. So if people are interested in custom, high value work, then we're interested in talking.

What’s something you can find in Donegal that you can’t find anywhere else? 

You can have a four bedroom home with a massive garden for the price of a studio in outer London. Your quality of life is guaranteed to be better. 

Everyday living is so much more affordable, you can afford heating! The standard of living is ideal for families.

What’s the best thing about being a Donegal local?

I think running a family business is different because your name is over the door. It’s all reliant on you, the family, your reputation, and you see the work in the community and the impact and you realise, God, there's 20 people and their families in my community working here. 

That feels great and you won't get that feeling in London or Dubai. But you will get that feeling when you're here. You really feel you contribute to society. Now, that mightn't matter to you when you're younger, but as you mature in life, those things do matter. It’s beautiful.


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