A newsagents dubbed Dun Laoghaire’s “last corner shop” is set to close its doors after 35 years.
John Hyland, who has served the local community for 35 years and worked in the business for almost 50, is set to retire and will trade his till for a bicycle, as he now plans to cycle the Barrow Way.
The 69-year-old bid farewell to customers young and old on Monday, many of whom arrived with gifts of chocolates and whiskey as thanks.
“Dun Leary’s Last Corner Shop” will change to new ownership, leading to an outpouring of well-wishes from locals.
Mr Hyland said: “The customers are the best. We have a huge variety of customers of all types, young and old.
“I see them coming in, five and six to 90. I found that when you do something for a customer, when you get them something, they are so appreciative.
“That drives you and keeps you going.”
Mr Hyland – known to many of his customers as Alex – first entered the business working for his father in Kilmainham, before opening his shop in Dun Laoghaire 35 years ago.
“It’s been a very enjoyable business, a very exciting business. I never, ever didn’t know what day of the week it is. Every day is different. I get different magazines coming in on different days” he said.
“I’d never take a Saturday or a Sunday off, because I’d be missing too much. If I was to take time off it would be on a Tuesday or a Wednesday.
“I love magazines and I love newspapers. I love reading them and I also love selling them. I love having the magazines that are difficult to get.”
While Mr Hyland’s shop has been a local favourite for years, he laughed off one recent report that described him “the best and worst shopkeeper in Dublin”.
“I’d be a bit insulted by that. Well, I wouldn’t really be insulted by it,” he joked.
“I never had a really tidy shop. I had loads of papers outside, and sometimes they would get a bit wet maybe. So I wouldn’t be the most meticulous person.
“I’d be more interested in getting the sale and having the stuff done, so I’d cut corners.
“I wouldn’t say I’d be the worst shopkeeper though, no. I don’t think so.”
After decades in the business, Mr Hyland said the “saddest thing” is that young people are no longer buying newspapers.
However he said that during lockdown, sales of papers went up, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays.