Shop shuts doors after 121 years
Dad forced to close recession-hit family clothing firm and emigrate
A FATHER-of-three has been forced to close his family business of 121 years because of the downturn and will emigrate to Australia leaving his elderly parents behind.
Declan Murphy (47), who took over Murphy & Son Menswear in the west Limerick town of Newcastle West two years ago, said it was with "a heavy heart" that he has decided to close the business.
However, Mr Murphy said he has been left with no option and added it was time for the Government to acknowledge the state the country was in as more businesses go to the wall.
Trading on Maiden Street in the busy Limerick town, 'Murphy & Son Menswear' was first opened by Declan's grandfather Patrick in 1889.
"My father Michael ran this business for 52 years with great pride. I came back two-and-a-half years ago from Australia to take it over and make a go of it," Mr Murphy said.
He returned to his native home from Australia with his wife Kate and three children; Ciara, Patrick and Sinead -- all aged under six.
"I renovated the whole shop at a cost of €60,000. It was a big investment, but then I found myself in a situation where I could not continue," he said. "My family are my priority and I wanted to keep this going and hand it over to my son in 20 years, but that will not be the case.
"To be honest, I'm gutted for my parents (Michael and Geraldine), but it is my dad I feel most sorry for. He is struggling to come to terms with what is happening and it is a very emotional time," Mr Murphy added.
Michael Murphy is a well-known member of Ballybunion Golf Club and played off a scratch handicap at one stage.
"We now are winding the business up. There is a closing-down sale which started this week and I reckon we will be gone back to Australia by the end of November," he said.
After closing the well-known shop, Mr Murphy and family will emigrate to Sydney.
"I am going back to work at my old job for David Jones. It is a department store similar to Brown Thomas and it has 37 department stores across Australia. Luckily, there is that option there for me," he said.
Mr Murphy was adamant that the standard of life in Ireland is getting worse and worse.
"We don't have confidence any more -- nobody does. There is no leadership been offered. At a nationwide level, we have to stand up and start asking the hard questions. The Government has to tell people how bad it really is. It is about time people started telling the truth."