Friday 17 January 2020

'Death by a thousand cuts' - the last shop on rural town's main street closes

LtoR Eileen Bredin owner, Kitty Kelly and Carmel Sheridan, both employees
LtoR Eileen Bredin owner, Kitty Kelly and Carmel Sheridan, both employees
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The last shop on Manorhamilton’s main street closed its doors last Saturday for the final time in a sign of changed times for the town.

Bredin’s Newsagents has been owned and ran by the Bredin family for the past 13 years, and a shop has stood on the site on the main street for a number of decades.

Writing on the Leitrim Observer, Arthur Bredin, who’s family ran the newsagent, said that shopping trends have changed and that it is impossible to compete with online shopping which is cheaper for people.

In addition Mr Bredin said that social media has almost eliminated the need for people to buy cards and invitations as no-one is sending cards or invitations any more.

Mr Bredin also said that he felt local representatives had little power despite their good intentions,

"Decisions are made about a small town at county and national level with no consideration taken to the people and businesses within those towns and there is zero consultation with the people in those towns," Mr Bredin said.

However speaking to Mr Bredin said that there was no point in pointing the finger fully at the council, there were a lot of mitigating factors and in the end it was "death by a thousand cuts".

Since the shop closed Mr Bredin said that he and his family have been "overwhelmed with messages" from all over the country from people in similar positions.

When asked about the future of small towns he said that he feels small towns like Manorhamilton will become "ghost towns".

Speaking to on the closure of Bredin’s newsagent, Sinn Féin representative for the area Padraig Fallon said that rural Ireland is in decline,

"There is a lot of talk about how much the economy is growing but we are not seeing this in rural Ireland," Mr Fallon said.

He went on to say that successive governments were at fault for this. "I hope things turns around," he concluded.

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