Wednesday 19 June 2019

End of an era as Handy Stores closes

Eileen Hughes serving customers at Handy Stores for the last time
Eileen Hughes serving customers at Handy Stores for the last time

Margaret Roddy

Another chapter in Dundalk's retail history came to an end when the shutters were pulled down on the Handy Stores for the final time at the weekend.

Time seemed to have stood still in the shop which stood at the junction of Park Street and Anne Street as it boosted its original fitting, including glass topped counters.

Famous for selling sweets, stationary, greeting cards, jewellery, candles and a huge range of everyday items, it epitomised the traditional shop which was at the heart of the community.

Sisters Eileen and Maureen Haveron took over the running of the shop, which was a Dundalk institution, from their father Bob. Eileen Hughes, who has worked in the shop for over thirty years, was busy welcoming customers who gathered to reminisce and make a final purchase.

'There's been a shop here for 80 years at least,' she said. 'We sold everything for a needle to an anchor.

'We had some wonderful times and great customers but over the last four or five years things went downhill and it was very quiet compared to what it used to be.'

She remembers the shop always being full of customers, especially school children, and pointed that it was always a popular stop for visitors returning home to Dundalk.

'Only yesterday we had people who were home from America and were away for 60 years,' she said, as she measured out sweets for the customers.

The Argus