independent

Friday 29 August 2014

Ryan's providing top class eye care for the past 60 years

Padraig Byrne

Published 24/09/2013 | 05:30

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A LOT has changed in Wexford over the past 60 years. Businesses have come and gone, however, one that has managed to stick around and is still going strong is Ryan's Opticians and Medical Eye Centre in The Bullring.

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The name Ryan's has become synonymous with eye care in Wexford for the past 60 years and is looking forward to continuing on for many more years to come.

Ryan's Opticians was founded in 1953 by Dr. Aidan and Dr. Monica Ryan. They originally had their practice at Selskar and moved to the current location in The Bullring in 1981.

The Ryan name has been associated with the shop ever since and, although the management of the optical practice was taken over by optometrist Laura Hayes in 2009, daughters of the founders Dr. Mary Jo Ryan, medical eye specialist who deals with acute and chronic eye problems and medical emergencies, and Gerarde Ryan, ophthalmic optician, both still play an extremely active role in the practice.

Over the past 60 years the business landscape has vastly changed and they business of eye care has also had to move with the times.

'Obviously in the past 60 years there would have been a massive change in technology,' said Laura Hayes, Optometrist. 'Everything is computerised now, but we still have all the old paper records from patients going back to the 1950s and '60s.'

As well as changing technology, Ryan's, like all other businesses, have had to deal with recession, both in the 1980s and in the present day. 'Like everywhere, I suppose it's that bit quieter now,' said Laura. 'Footfall has dropped, but we've been able to adapt with a good service and more affordable frames and options. We have a very good range to suit all kinds of budgets. Nowadays I suppose people tend to come to us more from necessity, whereas five to 10 years ago it was more common that new frames would be bought as a fashion accessory.'

According to Laura, the secret of Ryan's survival for the past 60 years lies with an excellent service and loyal customers. 'We do have a solid customer base,' she said. 'Some of our older patients would be coming to us since the Selskar Days.

Now their families and their children will come to us too. Also we offer a broad range of services. We offer all inclusive eye care from glasses, contact fitting and screening to the more serious eye conditions which would be treated here by Mary Jo.'

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