And so another Dublin institution comes to pass. No visit to Dublin by any man or woman over the age of 60 was complete without one of two things. A trip into Bewley’s on Grafton Street, this itself in danger only a couple of years ago, or nipping in to Guiney’s on the way back down Talbot Street to Connolly Station. Socks and jocks, towels, blankets and bed sheets; if you had them, chances are, the majority of them came from Guiney’s.
The phrase “you’d find anything in there from a needle to an anchor” was once used by my mother to describe the place and she wasn’t far off and I’m pretty sure the signs outside constantly proclaiming a permanent “sale” broke some broke some law of commerce or another, but the shop was constantly packed with old women, who viewed the trip to Guiney’s as some sort of social occasion, rather than an opportunity to pick up a few bits and bobs.
At approximately 17:30 on the 17th May, 1974, fourteen people lost their lives on Talbot Street, victims of the second of three explosions in Dublin that would later become known as the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Thirteen of the victims were women, a number of them found on the pavement outside Guiney’s itself.
Clery’s around the corner has been saved, and with that, 350 jobs and the phrase “I’ll meet you under Clery’s Clock.” Owned by the Guiney family for over seventy years, it has now passed into American ownership. Sister store Guiney’s Home ware’s and their thirty staff aren’t so lucky though and another Dublin institution is set to disappear.