A new business is making Fenian guns at a factory in Birr County Offaly.

The award winning Irish designed Fenian gun, a sliding action shotgun with interchangeable barrels and a unique breech opening is manufactured by the Fenian Gun Company in Birr, County Offaly

The Fenian gun, a vertical barrelled gun has a patented sliding action. It was invented by JK Kavanagh who comes from a long line of gunsmiths. Following a period living abroad, JK Kavanagh returned to Ireland to manufacture his gun.

With the aid of government grants, the company went into production from the old workhouse in Birr. At peak production, it is estimated 40 guns can be made per week, and the company has provisional orders from Europe and America.

The factory is currently stockpiling guns for testing and proof marking. A proof house is being set up by the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards in Glasnevin, specifically to deal with the products of the Fenian Gun Company.

Once proof marked, the Fenian gun can go on sale. It is expected to retail at 50 guineas, one fifth of the price of a similar gun made in England because,

The gun is engineered and very cleverly engineered at that, this means it can be turned out in almost mass production.

In March 1969 the Fenian gun was awarded the Gold Medal and the Plaque of Honour at the 17th International Exhibition of Inventors in Brussels, Belgium.

A ‘Newsbeat’ report broadcast on 28 November 1968. The reporter is Cathal O’Shannon.