The Holden story

Conor and Claire HoldenAt Holden Leathergood's we pride ourselves on our uncompromising commitment to quality and design which have earned us an international reputation and clientele, with customers returning year after year to seek out new designs and leathers.

Today, we are one of the longest established leather goods brand both designed and made in Ireland - celebrating over 30 years of craftsmanship in Dingle! 

Founder - Conor Holden 

"Born and bred in Dublin, I started my working life as a trainee hotel manager, at the age of 17. I moved to London at 19 and worked in local government. A course at Cordwainers College (now part of London College of Fashion) in Leathergoods Design and Production caught my eye: this was the beginning of my journey back home, and the beginning of Holden Leathergoods, which I set up in 1989.

Now I work alongside my wife Claire and a small workshop team trained here by me.Most of our bag designs are collaborations between myself and Claire. We set aside some time to work through new ideas and prototype them, usually when we receive the samples of new leathers we’ve selected from our tanneries in Italy and are buzzing with inspiration and creativity! It’s one of the aspects of my job that I most enjoy."  

The Workshop

Holden Workshop DingleVisitors are encouraged to call out to the workshop and studio shop for a truly unique experience. Well signposted off the Slea Head drive on the Wild Atlantic Way, approximately 3km from Dingle, the workshop is open all year.          

A holiday in Dingle in 1988,  ultimately lead Conor to setting up the workshop in this beautiful and inspiring location.

The Dingle Peninsula is not only breathtakingly beautiful, it’s steeped in history, and encompasses so much about being Irish: it has a spiritual draw which continues to this day to attract and inspire creativity in writers, musicians, poets, philosophers, dancers, artists and artisans.  

After a drive along the tree- lined avenue, visitors can meet the makers while browsing the Leathergoods in our studio shop. Toilets and picnic facilities add to an all-round memorable experience - a trip never to be forgotten.

Directions: The workshop ( open all year) is off the beaten track, but it is well signposted and drive takes you through unspoilt countryside and woodland.
Leaving Dingle for the 'Slea Head' drive, travel approximately 3km then turn left off the main road and follow the signs.                                


Scéal mhuintir Holden

Tá borradh agus fás déanta ag an gcomhlacht ó shin maidir le ceardaíocht agus dea-cháilíocht a bheith mar shlat tomhais acu. Is é a sprioc earraí leathair lámhdhéanta a chur ar fáil a sheasóidh ar feadh namblianta. Leathar le saol na saol!

Lámhthoofa atá ach leathar agus é ar árdchaighdeán chun go mbeadh gach chnuasach den bhfíorscoth - leathar traidisiúnta forghráinneach. Líneáil svaeid ar gach mála. 

I seanscoil athchóirithe ar boord Chuan an Daingin atá an cheardlann, agus is anseo a d'fjreastal Conor ar Ghaelscoil as a óige. Táthar anois ag tógaint ar an gcloch bhoinn a leagadh i Londain agus meitheal oibre áitiúil ag foghlaim na scileanna is gá chun earraí leathair den scoth a chur ar fáil don saol mór.  

Tá Comhlucht Holden Teoranta os coinn 30 bliain i mbun ghnó sa Ghaelacht i gCorca Dhuibhne le tacíocht ó Údarás na Gaeltachta.