History of Roadtrain

“If you drive your business, you won’t be driven out of business” – That’s the motto Roadtrain has applied since its inception in the 1930’s.

Now into its third generation, Roadtrain has grown from strength to strength and is currently managed by Kristian Connolly, son of Noel Connolly and grandson to company founder, the late Martin Connolly.

To the Connolly family this is not just your standard haulage business, this is a family heritage, which runs through the generations. Martin Connolly commenced the business back in the days of the horse and cart and gradually expanded into trucks hauling fruit and containers nationwide. Since then Roadtrain has progressed into one of the leading and longest established logistics providers.

With its Dublin headquarters located in Bluebell Industrial Estate, Roadtrain has been providing full load distribution services throughout Ireland and the UK for over ninety years.


Martin Connolly commenced the business in the early 1930’s, with stables and working horses located just off Smithfield in Dublin 7.

The business provided a distribution service by horse and cart throughout Dublin City and to the major Rail Heads.

‘Martin Connolly’


At the end of World War II the Irish Government advertised and sold several used army trucks. Martin Connolly purchased these vehicles as he saw the opportunity to expand and improve the current distribution service by moving away from the existing model of transport by horse and cart.

The business commenced offering warehousing services and moved to a larger facility located at 16/17 Green Street, Dublin 7.

‘Flatbed Chevrolet truck being loaded with banana’s by hand at Dublin South Bank Quay in 1949’


In the early 1950’s Martin Connolly further enhanced the services offered by purchasing a haulage plate which permitted the distribution of goods outside of Dublin up to a maximum of hundred miles. This launched considerable opportunities for the business and lead to further employment and additional trucks on the road.

In 1955 Noel Connolly, son of Martin Connolly joined the business.

‘Flatbed Austin truck loading in the Dublin Docks in 1953’

‘Flatbed Austin truck in the St. Patricks Parade Dublin in 1955’


Martin Connolly passed away in 1967 but the business legacy continued through his son Noel Connolly.

Operating as a sole trader, Noel Connolly relocated the business to 35 Bow Street, Dublin 7 in 1969.

The business was the main haulage contractor for the distribution of Containers and Chemical Tankers for Bell Lines and I.C.I Chemicals.

‘Noel Connolly’

‘Guy Truck with a Bell Lines shipping container in 1969’


Noel Connolly continued to successfully grow the business and in 1974 he formed a limited company ‘Connolly Haulage Limited’.

Connolly Haulage was one of the few hauliers in Ireland capable of distributing hazardous chemicals with drivers receiving hazardous training in the UK.

‘Connolly Haulage vehicles outside the Law Society in Dublin in 1978’

‘Hino truck with a I.C.I. chemical tanker in Dublin Port in 1979’


Following a dramatic increase in the vehicle and trailer fleet, parking became paramount.

In 1986 Connolly Haulage acquired a 2.2 acre site at Bluebell Industrial Estate, Dublin 12 which operated as its new Headquarters.

‘Some of the fleet parked at its Dublin headquarters in Bluebell Industrial Estate in 1986’


Following a group restructuring in 1993, Roadtrain Limited was incorporated. The haulage and warehousing services were rebranded as “Roadtrain”. Connolly Haulage Limited continued to manage the groups property investments.

In 1996 Roadtrain was awarded the Irish distribution contract for Kingspan Insulated Panels in Kingscourt county Cavan. This necessitated Roadtrain opening a new distributional hub in Cavan.

‘Rebranded curtainsided trailer to Roadtrain livery in 1993’

‘Three Scania trucks and trailers loaded with Kingspan Insulated Panel in 1999’


Kristian Connolly, son of Noel Connolly joined Roadtrain in 2006 and was appointed managing director of the business in 2009.

Now into its third generation Roadtrain continues to grow from strength to strength.

‘New fleet of Iveco Stralis supplied by Pino Harris in 2003’


Roadtrain opened a new distribution hub and office in Liverpool in 2014. This enabled Roadtrain to provide a full logistical service to customers within Ireland and the UK.

‘A Roadtrain UK registered MAN truck parked outside the Museum of Liverpool in 2015’

‘New generation Scania S500 supplied by Delaney Commercials in 2019’