Helen Riddell recalls a delightful lady who ran a popular shop in Adrigole, but recently passed away, just short of her 100th birthday
HUNGRY Hill may be the most prominent feature on the Beara Peninsula, but for many, the landmark which held the most affection is Peg’s Shop in Adrigole, which was run by Peg O’Sullivan.
Sadly, Peg passed away on February 4th 2016 just months short of celebrating her 100th birthday.
Born on June 21st 1916, Peg was one of a family of seven. In the 1930s, her Aunt Julia ran a Post Office on the site of the present shop and following her death in 1948, the premises was left to her niece, Peg.
The Post Office operation closed, but Peg soon built up a thriving shop, despite the early days of its existence being before rural electrification. In 1950 Peg married local schoolteacher Dan O’Sullivan, and had their daughter Maureen.
Peg’s Shop soon became the centre of life in Adrigole. Around the corner was a dance hall, along the road was a pub and just a short distance away was a school. Before heading into the dance hall, women would call at Peg’s where she had set aside a small room with a mirror for them to adjust their finery after cycling in from the length and breadth of Adrigole.
Shopping would be stored in the shop, and collected following a visit to the pub for a pint and a game of cards. There was no such thing as closing time in Peg’s shop, she would happily stay open late to accommodate all her customers. Local children looked forward to the end of the school day when they could call to Peg’s for their penny sweets.
After the pub and the dances there would be discussions in Peg’s on how the game of cards had gone in the pub, and any new romances which had blossomed in the dance hall. In effect, Peg’s shop was the social media of its day.
The popularity of her shop became known far and wide over the years, and in 2008 she appeared on The Late Late Show, was interviewed by Pat Kenny and appeared on Nationwide.
There was always a welcome for everyone in Peg’s, but in particular she loved visits from her beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who in turn worshiped her.
Large crowds attended Peg’s funeral at St Fachtna’s Church Adrigole. Peg is survived by her daughter Maureen, son-in-law John, grandchildren Margaret, TJ, Paul and Noelle and their spouses, and her great-grandchildren Andrew, Chloe, Shane, Luke and Keelin, her nieces, nephews, great neighbours and a large circle of friends.
The shop is still open, and Peg’s daughter Maureen is running it now.