Shop & Pub

The small family grocery shop and pub were the mainstay of the Irish village and town from the nineteenth century up until the 1970s.

In the large town and city, retail premises were often highly specialised outlets such as a butcher, draper, haberdashery, chemist, tailor, cobbler, shoe shop, pawn shop, green (fruit & veg) grocer, newsagency, fishmonger, hardware store, bakery and pub. In the village, a family-owned grocer and pub outlet was a common feature. A characteristic of the countryside from the early 1950s was the travelling shop van that went from farm to farm offering mainly luxurious items, livestock feed, flour as well as buying eggs and other farm produce from the farmers. The arrival of the supermarket in the 1960s gradually changed the character of shopping in Ireland. The long counter, wooden drawers and enclosed shelving of the dimly light grocery became replaced by the big chain stores of brightly colourful interiors where popular music streamed across the airways populated by multiple aisles stacked with an exotic range of often foreign brand goodies as seen on British television channels available at discount prices to a trolley using self service clientele.

But for many the disappearance of the corner shop and village grocery selling local and Irish produce owned by a local family that knew all their customers by name and give credit to so many until pay day meant the loss of another important element in the community fabric of Ireland.