A family that’s been tackling fish for over 150 years

Lar5

Posted on: 9th March, 2015

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: Mary O'Brien

As far back as 1821 fish has been sold on a Friday morning at Harrington’s Corner, at the bottom of McCurtain Hill in Clonakilty. Lar McCarthy of ‘Atlantic Catch’ carries on that family tradition today, trading fish at the very corner where his mother, grandfather and great grandmother all stood before him.

Although he always expressed a keen interest, Lar only entered the fish industry in 2012. “I can remember sitting in my grandfather’s van at this very spot as a five-year-old boy,” he recalls, “and also helping my mother Rose tidy up many times after trading on a Friday.”

“My mother often tells me stories about her father going by horse and cart to Kinsale to buy fish fresh off the boats,” says Lar. “He’d Lar McCarthyload up the cart in Kinsale and travel all the way down to Castletownbere, selling fish house-to-house along the way and sleeping in farmers’ sheds at night. Wet bags placed over the fish kept it cool during the long day. He would then buy more fish off the boats in Castletownbere and work his way back to Clonakilty. Those were difficult times but he was an amazing man to do all this and provide for his family,” says Lar proudly.

Today life is easier, with Atlantic Catch enjoying the advantages of different types of refrigeration, walk-in chillers, refrigerated vans, ice machines and so on. In fact, this is how the company has the best quality fish available. “I’m very serious when it comes to temperature control,” explains Lar. “The key in providing top quality fresh fish is keeping the fish between certain temperatures at all times.”

Recently a customer asked Lar if he’d consider opening a fish shop. “I wouldn’t rule it out but I would never leave this corner here in Clonakilty either, as the tradition means so much to me and my family.”

Atlantic Catch has two mobile refrigerated vans covering West Cork bringing the freshest of fish right to your door. Lar is often asked how this type of trading works so well. “It’s a matter of punctuality — always arriving at the right time and supplying a superior product. We go to great lengths in preparing our fish properly, from filleting it to trimming off all the excess and removing all the bones (especially important if you’re feeding the fish to a child).

The majority of fish sold by Atlantic Catch is collected fresh off the boats in Union Hall. “We pick the best of it then bring it back to our professional filleting unit, where it’s all prepared.”

Atlantic Catch also has a line of cooked seafood products, including fish cakes, seafood pastas and seafood chowders.

There are three people employed by Atlantic Catch and Lar’s feet are set firmly on the ground when it comes to talk of expansion. “Our main aim for the future is building up the Atlantic Catch brand, developing more customers on our routes and continuing to service Clonakilty at our traditional stall.”

Local designer and signwriter Tomas Tuipear designed the ‘Atlantic Catch’ logo, illustrating the old fish market in Clonakilty in the centre and helping keep the tradition alive as the business moves forward to create its own story.

Latest News Articles:

Christmas on the beat
Clonakilty town aims to get snowed under with the return of the Clonakilty Christmas Express
On call for Christmas
Have your say in shaping the future of Clonakilty
Dursey Island project passes first phase in Failte Ireland’s Grant Scheme
Minister Ring visits superb rural initiatives in West Cork
West Cork farms celebrated at Milk Awards
Issue of childcare a major concern for 72 per cent of female entrepreneurs
Rain, slurry deadlines and housing
Celtic Ross Hotel awarded AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence

Join us on Facebook

This is the real spirit of Christmas at Caseys of Clonakilty. ... See MoreSee Less

Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day the little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
... See MoreSee Less

15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

TRADING THROUGH BREXIT - BREXIT BRIEFING SERIES LAUNCHED
Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Simon Coveney T.D. is hosting a number of Brexit Breakfast Briefings in Cork in the coming weeks. The first in the series takes place on Monday, 4 December at the Carrigaline Court Hotel at 7:30am until 9am. Business owners, retailers and those involved in tourism in the region are invited to attend the free briefing, which will see Minister Coveney providing an update on Brexit negotiations, his insights and also practical ways to begin preparing for Brexit.

The Brexit Breakfast information events are free of charge and all are welcome to attend, however registration is required by emailing simon.coveney@oir.ie or call 021 4374200
... See MoreSee Less

27th November, 2017  ·  

Keep an eye out for Croíúil Trad group
from Rosscarbery and the Munster Champions U-12 Ceili Band from Bandon, both performing on next weekend's The Late Late Toy Show, airing on Friday, December 1 on RTÉ One at 9.35pm.
... See MoreSee Less

27th November, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top