TODAY marked 45 years since Walsh & O’Brien on Strand Street, began trading at their premises next to the Bon Secours Hospital. Sadly, today it was also their final day in business.
Mary Walsh and her cousin Dominic O’Brien, who sadly passed away two years ago, bought the shop from Michael and Maggie Maye 45 years ago today.
Michael had turned the building into a supermarket, where Mary worked for three years before she and her cousin decided to buy it.
They turned the supermarket back into a shop, where, at one stage, they had ten girls working for them. Mary also ran her hairdressing salon in the upstairs of the shop, which was closed yesterday.
“I used to work here from 9 in the morning to 12 at night when we opened up first. Myself and my cousin, we did really long hours here. It was a goldmine then, but all small shops are gone now,” she continued.
Their neighbours in the Bon Secours Hospital supported them down through the years and are sad to see them go. They all came in to say goodbye, bringing mass cards and flowers for Mary and Patricia.
Mary said she was heartbroken, but had to close the shop for health reasons. “My sister, Patricia, has been keeping it together for the last two years and she hasn’t had a day off. It’s hard going.”
Although Mary is sad to leave, she is thankful for the memories that she can hold onto.”It’s a part of history, you know? It’s been my life. I loved every minute of it. Every minute of it.”