About Us

Ireland’s first commercial garage, Peare Motor Works was established in Waterford in 1900 by W.F. Peare (1868-1948). A Watchmakers son, Peare commended building motorised quadricycles in 1899, and the following year, in partnership with Alderman William Goff, founded Peare’s Motor Works. The first car sold by the new company, a French De Dion Buton, was purchased by Goff (later Sir William), and it is highly probable that this De Dion was the first motor car imported into Ireland. Peare’s became the country’s best known “car doctor” and motorist from near and far brought their vehicles to Waterford for repair and service. In 1901 the company began building motorised tricycles, and was almost certainly the first Irish concern to assemble and build a motor vehicle of any kind.

By 1903 the number of motor cars in Ireland had risen to 236. Peare’s Motor Works expanded along with this growth, and a Cork branch was opened in 1913.Difficult trading conditions during the First World War brought about a down in Peare’s fortunes. Bill Peare’s absence – he was by then a Captain in a Motor Transport unit in Italy – took its toll and in 1917, the business was forced into liquidation. A local businessman, John Kelly bought the company and commenced trading again before the end of 1917. In 1928, a new company, John Kelly (Waterford) Ltd. was formed to promote and develop the business.

The following years saw the rapid expansion in Ireland’s motor trade, and the new company kept pace with that growth .Agencies were secured for Morris cars and commercials, and the company marketed these through the first half of the twentieth century. From 1966-1968 Kelly’s were Main Standard Triumph dealers, changing to a Fiat dealership for the following 10 years. In 1979 Kelly’s were appointed main Opel dealers for Waterford City.

Now in it’s second century, and new premises at Cork Road, Waterford, the company continues to serve the motoring public to the highest standard as did Peare’s “car doctors” over 100 years ago.