One of Meath’s most successful independent businesses and one of the county’s best-known franchises have reached the end of the road after forty-four years in the bookmaking trade with the news that Tully Bookmakers started by John Tully in Duleek back in 1977, and whose head office is in Slane has sold out to BoyleSports.
Paul Tully, who ran the business alongside brother David, confirmed the sale to the Racing Post.
Tully Bookmakers, one of the last remaining mid-scale independent betting shop chains in Ireland, will bring the curtain down on 44 years in business after selling their remaining ten shops to rivals BoyleSports.
He said: “It comes with mixed emotions but the final chapter has been written. I thought it was time to get out. Neither myself nor my brother has any family interested in carrying on in the business, so we decided to take the plunge and jump.”
BoyleSports is Ireland’s largest independent operator and, with the addition of the ten Tully shops, the firm now has 286 outlets in the country.
Sources have indicated the company will “invest significantly in each of the ten shops to allow them to compete in the current market”.
A BoyleSports spokesperson confirmed it would also take responsibility for Tully’s phone-a-bet business.
When operating at its height, the Tully retail estate numbered 37 shops in Ireland, but it has scaled back over the years, including selling six shops to BoyleSports in 2015.
Paul conceded that falling profits effectively forced their hand in selling off the remaining premises to BoyleSports.
“It has been a combination of things. The two percent tax to start with and Covid finished it off for us.
“Our first shop opened in 1977 and I started working in a betting shop when I was 12, so that must have been back in 1981 – a long time ago.
“The plan is to take a couple of weeks off. I was saying to the family that if we get this finalised before Christmas, it will be my first Christmas off in 40 years. That tells its own story.”
David Tully meanwhile has confirmed to Meath Live that he will continue to operate a business as an on-course bookie.