Cabinet maker Patrick Casserly, in his workshop near Killucan. Credit: Patrick Casserly

Killucan cabinet maker takes his bespoke pieces to Gifted

A cabinet maker who discovered his vocation after following the love of his life to England is displaying his latest creations at Ireland’s largest collection of handmade Christmas gifts this December.

Patrick Casserly found his new passion – hand-crafted furniture – when his girlfriend Helena moved to Bristol to study, and now his work will feature at Gifted, the Contemporary Craft and Design Fair, at the RDS on December 6-10.

The couple later returned to Ireland, where they married and raised a family.

Father-of-two Patrick has been producing made-to-measure cabinets and sideboards from his workshop near Killucan for the last 25 years.

“I studied mechanical engineering when I left school but I soon realised it wasn’t for me,” said Patrick, 50.

“Around the same time, Helena moved to Bristol to study haematology.

“So we upped sticks and went over, and that’s where I learned my trade, hand-crafted cabinet making at the City of Bristol College.”

Patrick said demand for his hand-made products is high, and more and more customers are willing to wait a little longer for the perfect piece of furniture.

“During my course, I learned how to use the hand tools to shape wood into furniture,” he said. “It’s a skill that’s not around much these days, partly due to easy availability.

“Why would you wait months when you can order something on the internet and have it delivered in a week?

“But, thankfully, there is a surprising number of people who appreciate the length of time and amount of work that goes into making bespoke furniture.

“They will say to me ‘we have been looking for this for some time and we’re happy to wait’.”

A credenza sideboard in ash and walnut, created by cabinet maker Patrick Casserly. See Credit: Roland Paschoff

Patrick said that Gifted is the perfect platform for a traditional business like his, and he has been attending the show for two decades.

“I’m based in a rural part of Westmeath, and there isn’t any passing trade,” he said. “Whenever anyone phones asking to view my work, I refer them to the RDS and Gifted, and tell them that’s the best place to go.

“Gifted is a great platform, it is so well organised and there is nothing like it in Ireland.

“We have a website but customers need to view the items in person to appreciate the quality of the work. People who attend craft fairs know that hand-crafted items take time.

“You can visit furniture stores with a tape measure, but you’re not going to find anything that fits your exact dimensions.

“In recent years, I started to take orders for fitted-furniture units, as opposed to one-off bespoke pieces.

“There is a lot or work in that market, especially in Dublin.”

Gifted, the Contemporary Craft and Design Fair, is at the RDS from Wednesday December 6 to Sunday December 10.

Full details and booking can be found at

Cabinet maker Patrick Casserly, in his workshop near Killucan. Credit: Patrick Casserly