Genevieve Sheehan and Isabella O’Connor

Genevieve Sheehan and Isabella O’Connor 

In 2011, Genevieve Sheehan and Isabella O’Connor were made redundant from the travel company where they both worked. Six months later, after being unable to find work, they decided to take matters into their own hands and create their own employment by starting a new niche travel company. The concept was simple – luxury travel in Ireland customized to suit the client’s individual requirements. Initially using the name Shamrock Vacations, they started trading in 2012.

Isabella OConnor

Four years later, the company has gone from strength to strength. In June 2015, the product base was expanded to include luxury travel throughout the UK. This was followed by the launch of the new brand, Sheenco Travel, in January 2016. “We needed a new brand with no limitations” says Managing Director, Genevieve Sheehan. “Shamrock is linked to Ireland in everyone’s mind and also cannot be trademarked due to the fact that it’s a National Emblem. There are also a number of travel companies using Shamrock in their branding which we found led to confusion amongst both suppliers and clients. Vacations was also limiting us to the US market, so we chose Travel as a more all-encompassing term that is known worldwide.”

It was CFO and co-founder, Isabella O'Connor, who came up with Sheenco by combining the two surnames of the company founders. “It makes sense in more ways than one” says O’Connor “as we certainly put the sheen on each and every one of our customized luxury tours.”


Sheenco Travel operates as a virtual business meaning all nine of their current staff work from home. They make it their business to remain at the forefront of technology using sophisticated software to stay ahead of the competition. Being a home based business with staff operating from multiple locations has worked well – the greatest challenge is more of a social one which the Sheenco team overcome with regular meet ups and FAM (familiarisation) trips to check out the products (hotels, attractions, etc.) they are selling.


Sheenco Travel counts the support of their Local Enterprise Office as a huge contributing factor in their success. “While the financial support is much appreciated, it’s the mentoring which has been invaluable to our business”, says Isabella.


So what’s next for Sheenco? Having done extensive research, a major expansion plan targeting the Chinese market is in the works. In the shorter term, Sheenco Travel are exploring other new markets such as Australia and South Africa and they continue to expand their current client base in North America. With a solid team of exceptional staff the future looks bright for this West Cork travel company.


Contact Details:

Website: www.sheencotravel.comTelephone: 01-6917380 Facebook: