Our Timeline


1866

John Magee starts a business in Donegal buying and selling Hand-woven Donegal Tweed. He travels to local markets like Ardara and Carrick to buy and sell the fabric from the part-time weavers, part-time fishermen/farmers.

Magee 1866
1866

1881

John Magee opens a drapers shop in Donegal Town.

Magee 1881
1881

1887

Robert Temple joined the company as an apprentice, after impressing his cousin John Magee with his salesman skills, when he overheard him selling 3 woodcock to a hotelier in Ballybofey.

Magee 1887
1887

1901

Robert Temple becomes part owner in the Magee business in Donegal.

Magee 1901
1901

1910

He buys the business from John Magee. He strikes a deal with specific weavers to weave solely for him and work on his designs.

Magee 1910
1910

1914-1918

The First World War creates a boom in the Irish woollen industry with the demand for the warm, hardwearing and course fabrics – ideal for uniforms.

Magee 1914
1914

1918

The quality of the woollen fabrics fell during the war due to the high demand. Robert Temple overcame this by opening a factory on the current site, beside the River Eske. He employed weavers to work in-house, were he could control designs and quality.

Magee 1918
1918

1921

Ireland was partitioned and Customs were introduced, Robert Temple overcame this commercial barrier by setting up a warehouse in Belfast. Magee tweed was now being sold widely throughout England and Ireland.

Magee 1921
1921

1931

Howard Temple, Robert’s son joined the company aged 17.

Magee 1931
1931

1945

The Second World War ended and the once lucrative bespoke tailoring trade started to decline, due to the rapidly increasing production of the ready-to-wear suit and jacket. The Magee ‘tweed business’ expanded to garment manufacturing in Belfast. The Magee USP was to create interesting, colourful garments, which stood out against the rise in the ‘grey de-mob’ suit.

Magee 1945
1945

1960

The clothing factory in Donegal was established in 1960 to augment production from Belfast.

Magee 1960
1960

1961

Sybil Connolly and Irene Gilbert, two world renowned Irish designers put Donegal tweed on the fashion map, by incorporating the fabric in their women’s wear collections.

Magee 1961
1961

1962

Magee designed and wove the green tweed for the Aer Lingus uniforms.

Magee 1962
1962

1974

Lynn Temple, Howard’s son, joined Magee and is currently Chairman.

Magee 1974
1974

1977

Power looms were introduced in Donegal. This allowed Magee to improve efficiency and develop more intricate designs to compete with the international market.

Magee 1977
1977

1992

Magee sponsored the Donegal senior football team in 1992 when they won the All-Ireland Championships.

Magee 1992
1992

1997

Magee opened a concession in Arnotts Department Store, Dublin.

Magee 1997
1997

1998

Magee women’s wear is launched.

Magee 1998
1998

2003

Magee opened a small store on Wicklow St. Dublin.

Magee 2003
2003

2004

Irish rugby team sponsorship.

Magee 2004
2004

2005

Munster rugby team sponsorship.

Magee 2005
2005

2006

Gordon Darcy and Sean O’Hailpin became brand ambassadors for Magee.

Magee 2006
2006

2007

The Irish cricket and show-jumping team sponsorship.

Magee 2007
2007

2008

Charlotte Temple joined the business and oversees the retail development and clothing collections.

Magee 2008
2008

2009

Verinque Branquinho and the Donegal tweed Porsche.

Magee 2009
2009

2012

Magee launched their accessory collection.

Magee 2012
2012

2013

Paddy Temple joins the business and oversees the clothing wholesale business and suppliers.

Magee 2013
2013

2015

Robert Noble, a Scottish mill established in 1666 is bought. Robert Noble specialises in luxury menswear fabrics.

Magee 2015
2015

2016

150 years celebrations. The Magee flagship store is opened on South Anne Street, Dublin.

Magee 2016
2016