Saturday, June 2, 2012

Goodbye Chapman's, Menary's, and who next? - Is Clonmel Doomed to Become a Ghost Town?

So I don't normally post this kind of stuff on my blog, I don't even care. Chapman's was my favourite café, no offense, O' Tuamas, but it really was. It was a real shock this morning when I heard that it had closed down, I was only in there on Wednesday! 

This is the only statement I can find directly from the management, and it's said that the staff were only told about the closure yesterday, and that it came as a complete surprise. While there today, I ran into a few people who had planned to have lunch there, and couldn't believe that the place had closed. While the reason for the closure is unclear, and not necessarily related to the economy (business always seemed to boom), it cannot be denied that the centre of the town is becoming emptier and emptier.

Only last week, Menary's of O' Connell street closed suddenly. The close was reported to be due to Health & Safety regulations not being met, but instead of something being done to rectify the problem(s), the whole store, which included A Wear, Wallis and Quiz, was shut.
It's worrying to see how many shops are closing in Clonmel, but these are only in the last two weeks. Just look at all the shops we've lost in the town centre in the last few years:
(formerly Dynasty)

(formerly World of Wonder - Relocated to a business park. Home Thoughts moved out and merged with The Honey Pot)

(formerly Chess Clothing)

(formerly Halifax)

(formerly Nest clothing shop)

O'Connell Mall. Golden Discs and A&E Jewelers relocated to the Showgrounds Shopping Centre, Fitzgeralds moved next door, Ann Fitzpatrick's Florist moved to Mitchell Street. Dick's Deli, a small café/resturaunt (I can't remember the name), and Midget closed some years ago. O Neill's moved across the road, and then closed soon after.

TSPCA Charity Shop

Deevy's Motor Accessories

Formerly Roxy Records, then a Euro shop.

While shops lay empty and abandoned in the centre of town, the Showgrounds houses many shops within walking distance of town. The question is, why was the shopping centre ever built? Back in 2009, when it was officially opened, many premises in town were available, so why draw people away from the centre again?

What's terrible is that this is happening in every town and city in Ireland, and in many countries. I'm not 100% sure about this Austerity Treaty that has been passed here, but I really hope that it, or something, or anything, will improve the economic situation that this country is in.

I leave you now, with this.


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