OUR TOWN c. 1850 - 2000


In the mid-19th century, Alicia Delany had a lodging-house on this site. She was succeeded by Ellen Dooley - listed as a shopkeeper in a directory from 1881 - and her husband Richard Stone. They both appear in the 1901 Census with their niece Maggie Dooley, a native of Tipperary described as a grocer's assistant. Richard and Ellen died within two months of each other in 1903. [According to cemetery records, they had a lodging-house at the time of their deaths.] The premises were next occupied by Mary Fitzpatrick (1905), Richard Thompson, and Maggie Kilbride who, at the time of the 1911 Census, had four boarders from Dublin City; one with the unusual surname, Haubidge, and all of them - if you'll pardon the anachronism - twentysomething decorators proficient in both English and Irish!

In 1901, George and Arthur Wilkinson and their five siblings were living in Quality Row (Grattan Street today). Their father, Thomas was a carpenter. On the night of the 1911 Census, George (now 24 and a farmer) and Arthur (22 and a shop assistant) were again present in their parents' house. I have not been able to categorically make the connection, but it does seem likely that these are the same Wilkinson brothers who, from the 1930's, and well into living memory, had what one of my informants described as 'a huckster's shop' here. It is, incidentally, remembered by some as always having a cat asleep in the window, while others recalled secondhand golf and tennis balls for sale inside, and rabbits hanging outside.

For more than thirty years until June 30th 1999, Thurles man, Mattie O'Dowd had a Shoe Repair shop here. (Repairs while U wait. Ladies shoes covered for weddings. 10.00). The sign in the window is thanking customers for their business over the years.

This shop and those in the next picture were demolished in 2003 and two new businesses eventually appeared on the site: Kevin Carroll's hairdressers (Carrolls of Mane Street) and La Boutique owned by Shaws. The intervening hoarding, incidentally, was pounced on by local rock bands. Anyone remember Jack & the Happy Fridays whose poster 'campaign' for a gig in Dunamaise Arts Centre in June 2004 was one of the most eye-catching ever seen in the town? La Boutique eventually quit these premises and was replaced within months (in May 2015) by Nook & Cranny selling gorgeous gifts, retro games, funky home and garden accessories.