Paul Candon is the CEO of United Hardware who are a leading buying and marketing group servicing over 109 independent members, with over 160 builders’ merchants, DIY and home & garden retail stores throughout Ireland. His vision for United Hardware is to become Irelands preferred buying group by delivering value, profit and services to all the members helping them achieve results that would not be possible operating independently.
Prior to joining United Hardware, Paul was Managing Director with Bunzl Ireland. He has over 30 years experience in various senior executive roles in pharmaceutical, retail and fuels/forecourt retailing. He has a wealth of knowledge and is looking forward to sharing this with the HAI team and its members to support the continued growth of the hardware sector.
Paul has been on the board of the HAI since 2020 and on his appointment as President Paul commented “I am truly honoured to take on the role of President of the HAI. I would like to thank the immediate past president, Michael O’Donohoe, for his effort in leading the association for the past two years. Moving forward, I will strive to continue the good work done by previous Presidents, and also help evolve the association to remain relevant in today’s modern economy.
In addition to his role in the HAI, Paul is a Chartered Director and holds a Masters Degree in Strategy and Human Resources. He is currently a member of the National Council of the Chartered Institute of Personnel (CIPD) and previous held the role of Chair of Retail Excellence Ireland.
Chief Executive Officer
Martin began his career in the marketing company GFK in London. He then moved to The Furniture Industry Research Association which is the leading member organisation for the sector in the UK. Returning to Ireland he completed a Masters in Business at the Smurfit Business School. He spent 15 years with the Electrolux Group marketing several brands in both the domestic and commercial markets. During his time with Electrolux he was also involved with the initial setting up and implementation of the WEEE directive.
He was a board member of the Institute of Management Consultants and Advisors for several years having served as Secretary and as President of the Institute. The IMCA represents the interests of a diverse spectrum of the consultancy sector from PwC to individual specialists.
In 2009 Martin formed the marketing consultancy Competitive Insights. Clients were a mix of suppliers and retailers across a wide spectrum from pharmacy to fashion to electrical. He also worked in the charities sector in the UK, partnering with Competitive Solutions. In recent years many clients in Ireland came from the hardware and builders merchant sector.
Executive Committee 2022/2023
President: Paul Candon (Chief Executive Officer, United Hardware)
Immediate Past President: Michael O’ Donohoe (Country Director – Ireland, Wavin)
Chief Executive Officer: Martin Markey
Vice President: Senan Foley (Head of Retail, Tirlán)
Honorary Treasurer: Lorraine Burnell (Managing Director – Joseph Murphy (Ballina) Ltd)
Executive Committee members:
Joe Connolly (General Manager – Stakelums Ltd)
Gerry Fallon (Chief Executive Officer – Expert Hardware Ltd)
John Foley (Managing Director – MP Doyle Group)
Alan Hegarty (Director – Ardale Group)
Eddie Kelly (Chairman, Brooks Group)
Eoin Lynch (Director – D Lynch & Sons Ltd)
Pat Moore (Category Manager, Chadwicks Group)
John Peare (Managing Director, DPL Group)
Mark Sharkey (Chief Executive, Templecrone Co-operative Agricultural Society (The Cope))
Chief Executive Officer
Head of Member Relations
Aoife Kinsella O'Reilly
Business Development and Marketing Manager
Monday – Thursday: 9.30am-2.30pm