Sugru, the fix-all product invented by an Irishwoman, is growing up

The magic rubber product Sugru is one of the most successful Irish inventions

Mon, Mar 17, 2014, 01:00

Meanwhile, Sugru has faced its first attempts at copyright theft, where Chinese fraudsters have begun copying the company’s packaging, but not Sugru itself, since they still cannot copy it.

“That is what happens when you get to a certain stage. It is not worth anybody’s while copying until you have proved that there is a market. We do have a patent in China and we have been lucky that they are not replicating our materials, they are just fraudulently replicating our packaging.

“They are filling it with play dough. If somebody buys it from a Chinese website they’ll get a very disappointing experience. But I wouldn’t want to really focus on that,” she says, carefully (

Readers' fix-it challenge

The Sugru philosophy is that we shouldn’t have to keep buying new stuff just because small parts are broken. We want to see the best fixes you’ve done and the story of how you did them, using Sugru or other materials. From small household repairs to bigger jobs, from a fix of your own to a great repair you’ve spotted by someone else.

Whether simple, skilled or just plain funny fixes we want to celebrate mending in all its forms. Submit a high-resolution photo and a short description of the mending story to – the five best examples will win an eight-pack of Sugru and a Sugru + magnets kit.

Five other Irish inventions

Ejector seat
James Martin, born in Co Down in 1893, invented an aircraft ejector seat. An engineer who moved to London in the 1920s, he was invited by the Ministry ofAircraft production to find a way of helping the survival rates of pilots who could not otherwise escape planes. By the 1940s, his ejector seats were being fitted in all British military jets and has since saved thousands of lives.

Castlebar native Louis Brennan, the engineer and inventor recently commemorated by the Taoiseach, was known in his adopted home of Australia as the Wizard of Oz. Best known for inventing a torpedo in 1877, he also came up with the world first gyroscopic monorail.

If the brand-name of Massey-Ferguson sounds familiar, it’s because the tractor was developed by Henry Ferguson, born in Co Down in 1884. The agricultural engineer and inventor also built a monoplane.

Engineer John Holland, born in Co Clare, in 1841, emigrated to the US in the 1870s and developed the first sub commissioned by the US Navy.

Born in Dublin in 1810 Robert Mallet graduated from Trinity in science and maths. A member of the Royal Irish Academy, he presented a paper there in 1846 on the Dynamics of Earthquakes, which was considered to be a foundation of modern seismology, a term that Mallet coined.

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