IRELAND’S luckiest Lotto shop – Hickey’s of Skibbereen – has changed ownership.
Fionnghuala Hickey and her son Pierce said the sale of the shop to John Field, who owns the adjacent SuperValu supermarket, became official last Friday.
‘After so many years trading in The Square, it is with heavy hearts that we decided to transfer our business to new ownership,’ said Fionnghuala.
Both Fionnghuala and her husband, Percy, ran the business since 1969, when they married, until his untimely death in 2009 at the age of 68.
Percy was just 26 when he stepped into the role vacated by his father when he passed away in 1967, but without a qualification to fill prescriptions the business changed, over time, from being a chemist to a newsagent.
‘For a time,’ Fionnghuala said, ‘we continued to sell cosmetics and films, but in 1971 we started selling newspapers and Percy, who was always interested in photography, became more involved in that.’
‘It was,’ she added, ‘the start of our association with the local newspaper, The Southern Star, and our long friendship with the owner, the late Liam O’Regan.’
Each week, Percy would contribute photographs and Hickey’s would sell the newspaper hot off the printing press on Thursday mornings.
When Percy died, Fionnghuala said, ‘he took a huge chunk of me, but what I’ve learned is acceptance.’ She continued, as before, to be involved in the business as a director, but she and Pierce recently decided to ‘let go and move on.’ Fionnghuala will continue to reside in her home adjacent to the shop, and she said she is very pleased that the shop will continue as before. She is especially pleased that the four full-time and six part-time staff at Hickey’s will keep their jobs. She thanked all of them for their ‘diligence, loyalty and friendship’ over the years, and wished them well in the transition.
She also wanted to say a particular ‘thank you’ to all of their customers and to wish the Field family ‘the very best in the future.’
John Field told The Southern Star: ‘We are very happy to get the opportunity to take over a business that we have always had great respect for.’
He said the Hickey family were ‘always great neighbours and we were always thrilled to be beside them. It will be business as usual. We will keep the same employment and there will be no jobs lost, and if we can bring anything further to the business, we will be delighted to do it.’