Friday 27 April 2018

John Caviston

Fish dealer whose shop bearing his name is synonymous with fine food and carries his legacy of quality and service

JOHN CAVISTON, who has died aged 87, was a lover of good food and a man determined to bring the very best produce to the people of Ireland.

Ostensibly a fish dealer by trade, his renowned shop in the south Dublin village of Glasthule was much more than that and still carries his legacy of quality and service.

John Edward Caviston was born on March 23, 1923, and grew up in Harold's Cross in Dublin, the younger of the two children of John Caviston, a member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, and his wife Margaret (nee O'Donoghue). He was educated at Belvedere junior school and the Catholic University School.

His older brother Jim originally put the family name to the business after buying a fish shop while in his cups after an evening carousing in the Eagle House Pub in 1947.

The next morning Jim came to his senses and tried to cancel the £300 cheque. Too late. The crafty fishmonger had already cashed it and Jim found himself the owner of the business that still carries the Caviston name.

Younger brother John had left for England as a teenager after an argument with his father and joined the British army, lying about his age to the recruitment sergeant.

He subsequently fought in the Second World War. Sadly he never got the opportunity to reconcile with his father, who died after he was struck by a runaway horse on Upper Clanbrassil Street in 1944.

John returned to Dublin to open a fish shop on Mespil Road after briefly working with an engineering firm in England. He married Margaret Crowley from Dublin in 1948, with whom he had six children.

John was forced to close his business for a long period of time after a serious car crash left him unable to work. Upon his recovery he went to help Jim's Glasthule shop and, after his brother left to travel the world in the mid Fifties, John took over the reins. He had a keen interest in politics and was a member of the Labour Party for many years.

John was constantly seen popping in and out from the shop, situated across from his family home, right up until his death. His eldest son Peter, along with his three grandchildren, continue his work.

John Caviston, who died on July 19, is survived by Margaret, his wife of 62 years, and children Susan, Peter, Paul, Patricia, Catherine and Stephen.

Sunday Independent

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