IAN MOLLOY profiles J. J. Kavanagh, one of Ireland’s oldest and largest independent coach and bus operators, a family business that also has a subsidiary on the outer edge of Greater London

The newest coaches in the fleet are Euro6-engined Mercedes-Benz Tourismos like 191 W 100, a 2019 example operating express service 717 (Dublin-Clonmel). Legal lettering on this vehicle is for Kenneally’s Bus Service in Waterford. 

With around 70 vehicles in its home country and another 60 with its subsidiary company in England, J. J. Kavanagh & Sons is one of the largest privately owned coach and bus operators in Ireland, still wholly owned by the founding family. 

It also is one of the oldest, and remains based in the town of Urlingford in Co. Kilkenny, 80miles south-west of Dublin where James and Mollie Kavanagh established it nearly 102 years ago in 1919 when Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom. 

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