History of Drinagh Co-op

The history of Drinagh since its founding in the early 1920s.

13 November 1923

Founding and Expansion

Drinagh has a proud history dating back to 1923, when it was founded by an enterprising and dedicated group of local farmers, together with the local curate, Fr. John Crowley.

It was registered on the 13th November 1923 and the first committee of management were elected. The creamery started operations on 12th May 1924. The farmers delivered their own milk supply with either donkey cart or horse cart.

Within a few years the co-operative system had proved its efficiency, so expansion was necessary. Over the following decades, Drinagh expanded to a total of 30 branches throughout the West Cork area, from Kilmeen to the Beara Peninsula.


The traditional creamery scene began to change all over West Cork with the founding of Carbery Milk Products in 1966, and the opening of their factory in Ballineen in 1968. This, together with the introduction of bulk refrigerated tanks on farms from 1970 onwards, brought about the closure of milk intake facilities at branch creameries, and in many cases closure of the branch itself.

At present, Drinagh has 15 retail outlets. These include two pharmacies, a coffee shop, a provender mill, a grocery superstore, hardware superstores, as well as farm supply stores, located throughout West Cork.