EMI (The Gramophone record company) were vast, they had the power
and resources to set-up record pressing plants around the globe. For
Parlophone EMI in Ireland, the Beatles record label sales were
booming all over the country by the time the Beatles arrived in
Dublin in 1963.
EMI ran Ireland'
only record factory, which was located in the Ferrybank area of
Waterford city in what was once a railway shed. A staff of ten
pressed, packaged and dispatched some 9,000-10,000 singles and
extended-play (EP's) records each week for sale in record shops
throughout Ireland. Although owned by EMI, the factory also pressed
discs for the other major labels, including Decca, Philips and Pye.
The facility produced an average of 1,600 discs each day on its four
pressing machines, which cost 3,000 each. All the 26 EMI pressing
plants globally used the same equipment and had access to the same
engineers and technicians from their Hayes base in the U.K. these
technicians would travel to the plant in Waterford to carry out
regular maintenance when required.
With limited record retail outlets in Ireland, the Beatles sold
well. In March 1963 'Please Please Me' crept into the Irish charts
and stayed there for two weeks, reaching a high of number 10. In May
'From Me to You' went to number one and stayed in the charts for
three months. In September 'She Loves You' only reached number two
but, happily for EMI, was kept from top spot by another of their
artistes Brendan Bowyer with 'Kiss Me Quick'. Bowyer had yielded an
unprecedented five number one hits in Ireland for EMI and in April
1962 Bowyer and his band even supported on one of the Beatles
tours. 'She Loves You', however, remained in the charts for 19 weeks
including the lucrative period over Christmas. Peter Ryan formally
of EMI Ireland recalls: 'EMI had a wholesale place at the back of
Granby Row, Dublin and I would do business with them for Beatles'
stock,' Ryan, who worked with both Liam Breen's record shop and at Waltons. 'You couldn't go wrong with Beatles records. Coming up to
the weekend, we would buy 50 to 100 of a new Beatles' recording for
people coming into town on the Saturday. We would put out a Beatles'
window display to bring in the customers. If someone wanted to come
in and hear a Beatles' record, there was no problem.'
EMI record manufacturing moved from Waterford to Dublin to an
industrial estate in the city during 1976. By the early 1990s all
EMI manufacturing in Ireland came to an end and was moved overseas .The
company then relocated to an address in Ballsbridge, Dublin at which
point all Irish master tapes were sent to Abbey Road in London for
paramount storage, all documented archives relating to companies
record manufacturing in Ireland were later dumped.