Tarbert loses village shop amid ongoing decline
NO bank, no hotel, no petrol station and now only one shop - Tarbert is fearing the worst for its future as yet another premises closed its doors in the village at the weekend.
Local fears over the future of Tarbert's commercial life in the wake of the AIB closure in October appear now to have been well founded as Martin's Costcutter closed its doors on Saturday with the loss of up to seven jobs. Only one grocery and newsagent's shop remains open in Tarbert now.
The closure of Laurie Martin's (pictured) shop was preceded by the closure of Lynch's filling station at the New Year. Locals say the closure of the bank in October of 2012 played a significant part in the demise of each business. The closure of the AIB came little over a year after The Lanterns Hotel closed down.
Patrick and Joan Lynch told The Kerryman that the closure of the historic AIB branch in the town formed part of their decision to retire from the business. Meanwhile, locals say that the continuing loss of business to the nearest banking centre of Listowel as a result of the closure has also played a direct role in the closure of Martin's.
"It's a massive disappointment for Tarbert and we're very sorry for owner Laurie Martin and his staff," Tarbert Development Association spokesman John Fox said. "He employed up to seven staff and was very well-regarded by the community here for his service over the year.
"With the bank gone, however, it was inevitable that business would have been lost to Listowel. People go in there now for their banking and end up doing their shopping in the larger supermarkets, with local shops only getting the emergency trade like the pint of milk and what not."
"It's little things too like the lack of a petrol station take people away from Tarbert. If you have to fill your lawnmower you have to go into Listowel and people end up spending money there. This was entirely predictable," Mr Fox added.