John O Donnell's Pharmacy now stands on the site on Ellison Street, Castlebar that was Josie Bourke's Garage.
In 1910 Joseph Bourke, became the second Ford dealer in Ireland. Two other dealers were appointed at the time, Gilbrides’ in Sligo and Limerick Motorworks, The garage was very well known all over and was a very successful business. So much so that a second garage was opened in Westport in 1918. The company then became 'Joseph Bourke and Sons', those sons being Thomas, Chappie, and Josie. Chappie was the Ford dealer for Westport while Josie managed Castlebar. In 1945 the business became known as 'Josie Bourke & Sons' and traded as that until it closed sometime in the 1970s.
The Bourke family has had a long connection with Ford with Thomas' grandson, Aodh, through his company ASA Marketing Group, providing database and marketing services to Ford.
Joseph Bourke had many strings to his bow and was a serial entrepreneur. He also introduced bicycles to Castlebar as well as being involved in saddlery and corn milling. From his premises in Market Square, he generated electricity for the first time in the town. As time went on, the family opened other businesses including a second premises at Ellison Street to accommodate the rising sales of bicycles. They also developed a cinema/theatre in the town where the Ulster Bank now stands on Ellison Street.
Joseph died in 1919 at the age of 62.
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