BY JACKIE KEOGH & KIERAN O’MAHONY
TWO well-known shops in the Kinsale area have closed their doors in recent days, while a restaurant in Clonakilty has also pulled down the shutters.
Hickey’s Foodstore was a popular shop on Main Street in Kilbrittain and has said goodbye to the village after more than a half century.
Meanwhile, Lordan’s butchers in Ballinspittle shut down on Saturday, having first opened its doors in 1949.
Vincent Hickey said his business ‘was never going to be a money maker’ but he felt in his heart that he had to do it for his parents and the local community.
After leasing out the shop for a time, the family returned to Hickey’s Foodstore about four years ago and ‘did everything to the best of our ability, but it just wasn’t viable.
‘Now, we have to move on,’ said Vincent. ‘It is very sad to see it close and our loyal supporters have told us how much they are going to miss it.
‘It is going to be a big change in the village but there is still a post office and a beautiful café run by Celina and Niall Crowley and we hope people will continue to support them and the other remaining businesses.’
Vincent explained that his mother, Eileen, started the foodstore about 64 years ago. He said: ‘She always wanted to be a shopkeeper’ and was happy behind the counter while her husband, Dan, was kept busy as an agricultural contractor. Vincent was in his mid-twenties when he took over the running of the business together with his wife, Marie, and their four children: Chris, Amy, Steven and Mark.
They ran it for about seven years before leasing it to Fachtna and Bridget Hennessy, who ran it for nine years.
Vincent said it had always been a good business but, in hindsight, they could see that the year 2008 was ‘the real gamechanger.’
‘The year 2008 changed everything and it never really recovered,’ said Vincent. ‘Austerity is the word that comes to mind and small shops, like ours, were severely affected.’
Reflecting on the good times, Vincent said: ‘We had great, loyal customers and would like to thank each and every one of them. We had lovely staff too. Everyone in the village would say so, particularly Kathleen O’Neill, her daughter Eileen, and Mary Fehily. They were great with people, and were particularly caring of the elderly. It is the elderly in our community who are going to miss it most.’
Meanwhile, over in neighbouring Ballinspittle, the village’s only butcher, Lordan’s, closed its doors for the very last time on Saturday after 69 years in business.
On social media Adrian Leisk described Lordan’s Butchers as ‘an institution’ adding: ‘Ballinspittle won’t be the same without ye. Best of luck for the future’, while David R Howe posted that he was ‘genuinely gutted! I have so many fond memories of your butchers over the years.’
Clonakilty also saw the recent closure of the Mio Restaurant and Bar on Connolly St which had been trading for 11 years.
Owner Mark Kirby posted news of the closure on their Facebook page recently.
‘It’s been an amazing run and I’d like to take time to thank all our customers, friends, family and staff who have made Mio the success that it has been,’ said Mark.