BY SANDRA MAYBURY
PETER Walsh, opened Londis in February 2008, a grocery outlet on the Bantry Road in Dunmanway, which was a vital resource for the community of Dunmanway and especially the residents of Bantry Road and Kilbarry Road.
However, on Sunday, March 29th, Peter closed the doors to this business. It is always sad when a business closes and this premises has been trading as shop since the early 1940s or before.
Tommy Collins recalls when he frequented the shop as a teenager: ‘I remember the shop was owned by Harry Smith. In the latter half of the 1950s, he had a sweet shop there. He installed a jukebox at that time and he also had a chip shop. We all congregated there as teenagers, bopping away to Buddy Holly and Elvis.
‘During the summer months, we would congregate there before we would go across the road to the pictures in Mrs Barney Deane’s Broadway Cinema,’ Tommy said.
Peter, who is originally from Clonakilty, comes from a family of four generations of entrepreneurs. His brother Eamonn runs the Londis in Clonakilty, which was originally run by his parents Noel and Breda, and Peter’s grandmother opened up the very popular Betty Brosnan’s Café in Clonakilty.
Speaking of his experiences in Dunmanway, Peter said, ‘There have been many highlights, such as the Liverpool v Dunmanway Town soccer game, although I am a Man United supporter.
‘I have had many memorable pints here and I’ve enjoyed being involved in various projects in the town and seeing them come to fruition, including the new swimming pool, gym and playground, and I played a key role in the opening of the Brookpark Enterprise Centre. I believe Dunmanway is strong and has a lot to offer.’
Peter is still involved in some of these projects and will be available to lend a hand when needed, but at this time, he is taking a break from retail and working on other new projects. Peter thanked his family for their support through the years, his wife Yvonne and children Sarah, Nollaig and Richard, and he thanked his loyal and hardworking staff, who were always friendly and helpful in assisting customers.
He also paid tribute to the many many customers who have supported him and his staff through the years, saying ‘I have really enjoyed my time in Dunmanway; my family and I were made to feel very welcome and we have made friends for life.’