OUR TOWN C. 1850-2000

86 MAIN STREET, SOUTH SIDE

According to the architectural survey, the decorative facade and shopfront of this late nineteenth-century building "enlivens the streetscape of Main Street". The doorway on the left leads to Dr Deirdre Honan's purpose-built surgery (1998). Her earlier surgeries were in Newpark and on the Green Road.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, there were two houses here. Bridget Sweetman (succeeded by Robert and Sarah Carter) lived in the one one your left; its neighbour was the home of of Mary Phillips, succeeded by Jeremiah Carroll (1880's) and Anthony O'Reilly who had a public house here. On August 8, 1896, The Nationalist reported that 'Mr G. Dimond has built a new house on the site of houses recently occupied by Mr A. Reilly and Mrs Carter'. This became George Dimond's Medical Hall where, as well as all sorts of medicinal compounds, you could - on Thursdays - have your teeth stopped, sealed and carefully extracted by visiting dentist William Steyn. On Census Night 1901, William Cummins and William Cleary were in the house. Both were apothecary's assistants, nineteen years old, and natives of Tipperary. By the time of the next census, they had been replaced by Victor Gurd and Samuel Smith, both described as chemist's assistants. Regarding their occupations, it is interesting to note how the nomenclature had changed in a decade.

The Dimonds themselves lived in Rosetta1 on the Dublin Road (or Dublin Street as it was called in the early years of the last century). The family comprised George, originally from Longford, his wife Anna Maud, and their six daughters. Apart from seventeen-year-old Eve (an assistant in her father's shop), all the younger girls were scholars. Mrs Dimond's sister, the quaintly-named Adelaide Meck2 was their governess and the household also included a cook, housemaid, and gardener.

George Dimond was also Assistant Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, Secretary of the Queen's County Infirmary (now Grattan Business Centre on the Dublin Road) and, for thirty-two years, the Apothecary for the Asylum. The Dimond family eventually emigrated to Australia.

William Gannon came from a farming family near Castledermot, County Kildare. As part of his pharmaceutical studies he worked for a while in Dimond's. He subsequently became manager of the Hamilton Long pharmacy in Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) and circa 1917, Dimond's Medical Hall became Gannon's. (Prescriptions Carefully Compounded. All patent family and veterinary medicines, toilet requisites and perfumery). He was married to Gertrude Aird (daughter of J. J. and sister of William TD, both of whom we've already met in the Lower Square). The family home was in Coote Terrace, Coote Street. In later years, Gannon's was run by William's son James and, in 1996, Marcus Breslin, a native of Ballina, became the proprietor here. .

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1 This fine house subsequently became the home and surgery of Dr Duane and in later years, a nursing home run by Jackie and Rita Costigan. It is a private residence today.

2 It is unclear from the Census Form whether Adelaide was Meek or Meck. Both names - of Scottish origin - are, in fact, variants of each other.

HOMEPAGE