O’Neills of Gortin are a family run business founded by John P and Mary O’Neill in the small village of Gortin Co Tyrone in 1965. Starting trading as a general store selling everything from a match to a television and tv repairs, they read the market well and to avoid competition from supermarkets and tv rental companies, they diversified into musical instrument sales to cater for the demands of a huge revival in Irish traditional music.
From a small music retailer they grew the business into Ireland’s largest musical distributor Gortin Musical Wholesale and creating their own brand “Boorinwood” named after a small ancient woodland on the edge of the village. Under his own brand he could control the specifications and costs to provide entry level range, intermediate range and Italian made professional range at affordable cost.
Being an electronics genius, John P again identified the potential of the internet and acquired one of the first computers in the area, an Amstrad. Teaching himself to build a website, he soon had www.boorinwoodmusic.com up and running. His stock of instruments were now visible worldwide but his inability to supply the increased demand led him to import directly from the manufacturers worldwide.
After many years trading, unfortunately illness caught up with them and the wholesale business was wound down in 2013. With the death of Mary in 2014 and JOHN P in 2016, the business passed to son Sean who continues to meet the needs of the traditional and folk music community specialising mainly in accordions.