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'If I retire, I'll die' - Dublin's oldest retailer (94) reopens shop doors


Tom Monaghan, of Monaghans Cashmere,  in Dublin's city centre
Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tom Monaghan, of Monaghans Cashmere, in Dublin's city centre Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tom Monaghan, of Monaghans Cashmere, in Dublin's city centre Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

FOR Dublin's oldest retailer Tom Monaghan, reopening his fashion store today has been "more exciting" than when he first opened its doors 60 years ago. 

The family-run business on South Anne Street, Co Dublin, shut up shop three months ago due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 94-year-old veteran retailer, who has traded through three recessions, said he at times feared that he "would never see the premises again."

Tom told Independent.ie: “I think today is a more exciting day than the day we opened in 1960. I could never before imagine that these premises would ever be closed for as long as 12 weeks.

"I have never been out of this shop for more than a week at a time. Hopefully, with a bit of patience, we will overcome this and financially, we'll be able to support it."

He said it will take "at least 12 months" to overcome the impact the health crisis has had on the business.

"We miss our tourists, our American friends, and the Asian market, which was becoming very strong. But, time will heal all of this and we'll be back to normality," he said.

Tom added that a lot of preparation has gone into adapting the store so customers can easily adhere to the Covid-19 public health guidelines.

"I think we're very well equipped, my daughter Suzanne has helped make sure we have all the necessary requirements covered and we have spent quite a lot of money on facilitating our customers and keeping them safe."

Monaghan's Cashmere was founded in 1960 by Tom and his late wife Teresa, who passed away last year.

The business began as a labor of love for the couple who - after years of hard work - managed to turn it into a family enterprise.

“Tess and I, we couldn't afford a holiday for 12 years when we first started. We had no money. But, we kept at it. Tess made a lot of sacrifices to keep the show on the road.

"My daughter works here with me and there are seven of my grandchildren working with me here today too, and I love them immensely, and they too love the business."

He said he has been "bored stiff" since the shop closed, adding that he has no plans to retire.

"If I retire, I'll die. I'm sure people when they walk by say 'Is that old devil in there all the time?' Because I'm always here. But I love my business, I feel fortunate to have it."

Tom's daughter, Suzie Goggin, oversees the day-to-day running of the store.

She said the family is thankful for the support customers have offered them over the past 12 weeks.

"It's quite an emotional day I have to say, there is a lot of support coming our way and we're so grateful for it. This is the first time Dad has ever shut down his shop, he even stayed open during the World War.

"We're hugely proud of the business, and that's why I'm here. Dad wants Monaghan's to continue, that's why I came back into the business. At first, I did it for him, but now I'm hooked."

Online Editors

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