News Irish News

Monday 19 March 2018

Killarney turns past into present in day of looking back on town

Retired grocer
O'Donovan near
where his shop
used to trade
Retired grocer Paddy O'Donovan near where his shop used to trade
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

RETIRED shopkeeper Paddy O'Donovan donned his shop coat for the first time in a decade and a half yesterday.

His grocery shop, which was opened by his grandfather Simon Prenderville in 1922, was recreated as part of a nostalgic look back at the changing face of a town.

When Mr O'Donovan took over the family business on High Street, Killarney, Co Kerry, it was one of around 14 thriving grocery shops in the town.

Most have since ceased to be part of the streetscape, but were captured in watercolour by artist Patrick McCarthy, who grew up in the town.

A selection of these, painted over an 18-year period, now make up a new calendar, 'Killarney 2013 past and present' that was launched yesterday to raise money for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.


Nine of the 12 buildings featured in the calendar no longer exist. Others have been taken over by new owners, given a facelift and are unrecognisable.

All the paintings are on permanent exhibition in Bricin Restaurant and Craft Shop, right next door to where Mr O'Donovan's shop used to be on High Street, now a Mahers Sports outlet.

"We used to sell everything from butter to farming stuff, brushes, ropes, eggs, you name it," Mr O'Donovan recalled.

"We had some great years but for the last couple of years before I sold up the supermarkets had taken over."

Mr McCarthy says the town is a different place to the one he grew up in.

"There were very few houses outside the town. Everyone lived in the centre, over their shops or in the lanes, and were there for centuries," he said.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News