Menswear supremo Hughie opened first shop in Dunleer
HUGHIE O'Neill is full of surprises.
I hit the streets of Ardee for the recent bonanza event and came across the O'Neill's Menswear supremo out and about marking his 25 years in business.
I've always associated the shop with the Castle Street premises, but guess what, life in the business didn't begin in Ardee for the Western's GAA man - it started in Dunleer.
In 1989, he opened up an outlet at Matthews in the centre of the then village.
'I spent two great years in Dunleer and then a shop in Ardee came up,' he stated. But the way business is, he still gets people from Dunleer coming over to shop in his place. 'They are loyal in Dunleer,' he admitted.
I'd say the best way to sort that Hughie is to open up a gents' clothes shop in Dunleer! Who knows.
A lot of the businesses put in a huge effort for the weekend. Ace Hire had the balloons out, Kearney's alley was a musical heaven.
Even those great people in the Bank of Ireland got in on the act. I met Una McGoey, the branch manager, and she was promoting a first-time buyers' special, which sounded pretty good. I have no doubt Una will do you a deal if you pop in!
Auctioneer John Little was also on hand to offer some housing advice.
Down at Butterly's Bar, they hosted a successful charity coffee morning and playing away out the front was the 'Great Raymondo' - Ray McNeice. What a legend he is.
And talking about Butterly's Bar, the kind host of the place Mickey McCreanor performed on Seamus Farrelly's LMFM Breakfast show that weekend and stunned the place. He sang 'The Last Rose of Summer' as good as some of the greatest singers down the years.
I think you'll hear more about this young, up and coming talent!