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We Close the Door On Another Part of Old Dublin


We Close the Door On Another Part of Old Dublin

One of Dublin’s fair city’s finest and most iconic landmarks is gone. Clerys turned off its cash registers and closed its doors for the last time last Friday, and it is hard for me to say that without getting a little bit emotional as I have a collage of really nice memories connected with Clerys.

Like most Irish people my memories with this glamorous  department store span right back to when I was a child, where I would have been taken by my parents and close relatives to see Santa (they always had a really good one). I also remember the toy store in the basement full of just about every toy you could imagine. I almost had as much fun there as I had, in the milliner-shop trying on different hats while my uncle was deciding on his purchase (you don’t get hat-shops like that nowadays).

Like so many other people, a regular meeting place in my very early stages of courting young girls was under Clerys clock (and for all you young people out there who don’t shave yet, courting is dating). Treasured moments.

Let us also not forget the staff, some of whom have worked under the clock for over 40 years and are now in such need.

While it is true, the mechanism of harsh capitalism can level some of the blame on a lot of us for not shopping there, it is also a true that more could have been done to save it. Clerys, not Brown Thomas, not anywhere else on this Island, could have been a Green Harrods with the right minds at the helm. Sad really that we let institutions like Clerys (and indeed Waterford Crystal) slip quietly away into a state of faded grandeur.

I guess it’s just a sign of the times. Nowadays the favoured business model seems to be moving in the direction of a faster and cheaper shopping experience with less bells and no whistles.  Though we are promised a new retail outlet in the listed building, those familiar with Clerys old worldly charm will know it simply, will not be the same.

See this is where nostalgia accompanied with letting go, kicks in. Sometimes institutions like this slip through the fingers of the powers-that-be; it is unfortunate but they should not be forgotten.  Nor Should it’s Employees, who were left out in the cold…

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