The Ireland Family has had a long and proud history of community involvement.
During Tony Ireland's 25 years in Townsville he has been amongst other, Chairman of the National Holden Dealer Council and has served for 10 years on the Holden Forward Model Planning Group.
That is just to name a few of the ongoing support along with sporting clubs and donations that Tony Ireland Townsville are involved in on a monthly / yearly basis.
The Townsville together business program brings the community & business together. Our sponsorship of the Tony Ireland Stadium is another way we have found to support the community with a world class facility.
Tony Ireland Stadium has been home to AFL and cricket matches at local, regional, state, and national levels.
Tony Ireland is the grandson of Francis R. Ireland, born in Ipswich, Queensland, in 1898, whom moved to Cairns with his parents in 1905. In 1912 his working life commence at 14 years of age when he started work mending bicycle tyre's punctures for Mr Fred Taylor, (father of Harold Taylor, who later became a motor dealer in Innisfail), in his premises at 44-48 Abbott Street. Over time he progressed to bicycle mechanic, advance motor mechanic, and then became foreman of a garage run by Mr C Midlin.
As a young mechanic Francis Ireland would deliver new cars to outlying properties and teach the buyers how to drive. Once he arrived just as the owner left to go droving for 2 months and was asked to await his return. He did ... and meanwhile taught every person on the property to drive! That family are still Ireland's customers.
Mr Ireland commenced his own business, repairing and selling bicycles and motor cycles and repairing motor cars, taking over the business of Mr C Midlin. This was 23 June, 1923, "with a bag of tools, no money and some knowledge". This was a time when horses, buggy's and push bikes still ruled the streets of Cairns. At 24 years of age, he knew the value of customer service and he immediately placed great emphasis on the importance of customer satisfaction in his own business.
The first car Francis Ireland sold from his new business was a 1924 Chrysler 70, a smart five seat tourer. This model was the first ever built with four wheel disc brakes, with the addition of hydraulic brakes. It was sold to a Mr. Pienegar, the Irvinebank School Headmaster at that time. The Chrysler was a Demonstrator which Mr Ireland drove up via the recently opened range road through Yungaburra to Herberton.
Mr Ireland recalled "the trip from Yungaburra to Atherton and up the old Herberton Range was a real feat on its own. One had to carry extra water and engine oil to replenish both on the extra steep pinches which caused the engine to boil, and the oil to leak out of the rear main bearing on account of the steep angle of the engine and the long climb".
"While there, I was told of a prospect in Irvinebank - the school teacher. I set off for Irvinebank over a very rough track, you couldn't call it a road. I found the school teacher, Mr Pienegar, and gave him several convincing demonstrations and he eventually agreed to buy the car."
1931: was a major milestone when, for the second time, Francis Ireland became a General Motors Dealer, having already been a Chrysler, Pontiac, Oakland and Whippett Dealer between 1923 and 1931. The company has held the General Motors franchise since that time.
1948: Mr Ireland formed another subsidiary, McDonald Motor Agencies. This Dealership handled the Vauxhall Franchise at 44-48 Abbott Street.
1956: McDonald Motor Agencies were appointed by G.M.H. as Holden Dealers, as imports of Vauxhall ceased. This meant from 1956 the two Holden Dealerships in Cairns were operated by the Ireland Family.
1961: Tony's father, Mr Ron Ireland was approved as Dealer Principal by G.M.H.
1970: Saw new premises for McDonald Motor Agencies built at 227 Mulgrave Road. This new Dealership was one of the best facilities ever built in Australia.
1973: Mercedes-Benz appointed the company as Dealers for Passenger Cars.
1976: Tony Ireland commenced work at F.R. Ireland Pty Ltd, having graduated in Commerce from Queensland University.
1979: F.R. Ireland Pty Ltd appointed Chrysler Mitsubishi Dealers. (Chrysler was subsequently brought out by Mitsubishi)
1980: Mr Ron Ireland recognised as Time Quality Dealer for Queensland, by Time Magazine for "his outstanding performance as a motor dealer and a valued citizen of his community".
1985: The Holden Dealership in Townsville became available and Tony decided he would take on the challenge of operating a Dealership in his own right and further expand the Ireland name in the North Queensland motor industry.
1987: Tony Ireland was awarded the franchise for Land Rover, Jaguar and Peugeot vehicles.
1994: A programme of major upgrade in facilities took place which encompassed Spare Parts, Truck Service, Customer Parking Facility and a new Service Reception Customer Care Centre.
A new showroom was completed for Land Rover and Peugeot vehicles.
The Dealership was awarded Master Level Service Centre by General Motors, an award which recognises the highest standards of customer satisfaction.
February 1997: Tony Ireland was elected to the position of Chairman of the Australian Holden Dealer Council. This is the first time a non metropolitan Dealer has been honoured with this task and is a further measure of the esteem with which the Ireland name is held in the Motor Industry.
September 2000: Opening of new facility at corner of Woolcock and Duckworth St, for Land Rover, Jaguar and Isuzu Sales and Service
March 2003: Purchased Willtrac Townsville handling sales and service of Toyota industrial equipment, soon to become Tony Ireland Industrial Equipment
July 2003: Purchased Peters Holden Charters Towers, now known as Tony Ireland Charters Towers
2005: - Awarded franchise for Volvo Vehicles.
"At Tony Ireland's we are extremely fortunate to have a 21 year old business with over 75 years experience. This experience however only makes us as good as we perform today. It is only our complete dedication to customer satisfaction that will ensure our prosperity in the next 70 years."
Tony Ireland is the Managing Director of the Tony Ireland Group of Companies based in North Queensland. He is a staunch advocate for North Queensland and has spent 30 years living in Cairns and a subsequent 28 in Townsville. This background combined with travelling the globe has placed him in a unique position to judge the balance of lifestyle and commerce that living in North Queensland offers. Through his business he has supported the Community continuously and in terms of time has always found some to support people of all walks of life.
At various times during his Career Tony has occupied the following positions:
Tony has also supported the Community with various sponsorships some of which have been:
Many North Queensland athletes have had their airfares provided by Tony to allow their participation in events as diverse as National Triathlete Championships and English Channel swims among many others.
Tony Ireland's involvement in mentoring young people to success in their chosen field is something he takes great satisfaction from.
The Tony Ireland Group which began with Tony moving from Cairns in 1985 and buying the local Holden Dealership is diverse but the brands represented in the region that are pretty much household names include Holden, Isuzu Trucks, Toyota Forklifts, Landrover, Jaguar, Volvo, Century Batteries, Valvoline Oil, PPG Paint, Makita and SP Tools. Over the years the business has been developed on the basis of providing a Guarantee of Value to all the customers who entrust it with their money. The 10 crucial behavioural traits required from staff in their interaction with customers that really summarise the business philosophy are Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Commitment, Reliability, Customer Focus, Professionalism, Passion, Responsiveness and Gratitude.
It is the delivery of these traits that stands the group apart from its competitors and it will be the continual adherence to these behaviours that will ensure the strength of the business into the future.