Our History  image

Our History

50 Years of Joe Duffy Group


Our History - 50 Years in the Making!

How It All Began
The Joe Duffy Group began as Joe Duffy Motors LTD, a small garage in Dublin 11. When Joe Duffy and Bill Thompson set up the business 1970 Ireland was a very different place. You could buy a BMW for £4,000 Irish pounds, a lot of money, especially considering you could buy a house for just a little over that amount back then! With petrol pumps on the forecourt and the first electric car wash in Ireland – Joe Duffy Motors was ahead of its time and destined for great things!

In 1976, Joe Duffy Motors opened their 2nd premises in Jamestown near to Dublin Airport. This site was primarily a service centre to cope with the growing reputation of Joe Duffy Motors as a centre of excellence in maintaining cars to the highest manufacturer standards.

In 1980, the directors began the first major renovation of the premises in Glasnevin to help with the growth of the company. In Bill Thompson’s own words “the hardest thing to do in business is maintain excellent customer relationships when you are growing” but this was always one of the fundamental tenants of the philosophy of how Joe Duffy Motors conducted business. And indeed throughout the 80’s when 1/3 of all Irish businesses were going out of business, Joe Duffy Motors was continuing to grow in reputation and sales.

Joe Duffy himself retired in 1983 handing over the reins to Bill Thompson.



Joe Duffy - Sadly now passed away, Joe set up the original Joe Duffy Garage on the Ballygall Road East, joined by Bill Thompson. In 1972 Joe was awarded the very first BMW franchise in Ireland.

Bill Thompson - Bill joined Joe in 1970 as joint managing director of Joe Duffy Motors. Known as much in golfing circles (Bill played golf to an inter-provincial standard) as he was in the motoring industry, Bill became an expert in the ever increasing financial and taxation issues that evolved as Ireland's motor trade grew. Sadly, Bill passed away in 2022 after a short illness and 50 years after he founded our company. He will be greatly missed by everyone in the company today. 

Gavin Hydes CEO - Gavin joined the Joe Duffy Group and was appointed to the board in June 2005, as Group Chief Executive. Gavin held various senior management roles in the hotel & motor industry and enjoyed considerable success in the UK Dealer Network. Following on from Gavin’s appointment, Joe Duffy Motor Group has undergone a period of continued expansion, diversification and restructuring under his leadership. With 17 Brands, 21 franchises and 23 Nationwide locations the Group is now Ireland’s largest retail motor Group, with 750 employees.