Geraghty’s men’s shop

“Good clothes are needed by the men of today and Geraghty & Sons can supply the perfectly tailored suit you need in 4 days. Tailored in our own workshops. Have your clothes made by the men with five generations of Tailoring experience behind them. See our range of suitings, serges and overcoats. 50 shillings, Suit or Overcoat. Customers own materials made up at reduced prices. Special terms for C.M. & T. To the trade. Geraghty & Sons, Lombard St. Galway.”

This was the text of an advertisement in the Galway Observer on August 17, 1935. The business had been opened by Michael Geraghty in 1934. He was born in Oldcastle, County Meath, where his father Patrick and his grandfather Michael had worked as tailors before him. Young Michael came to Galway and set up his own business in rooms over Garavan’s Pub in William Street. He managed to buy the building on the corner of Lombard Street and Church Street in 1934 and open his shop and workshop there. It had been built in 1933 by John Higgins who also built Jack Egan’s bicycle shop next door. The shop we see at the end of Lombard Street was Brennan & O’Dea’s.

The building to the left of Geraghty’s was occupied by a shoemaker called John Naughton. It was owned by Mrs Costelloe who eventually sold it to Geraghty’s. She also owned two houses to the left (out of picture ) of this house, and they were bought by Brennan & O’Dea who knocked them and built storerooms there.

This photograph was taken on the day St Patrick’s National School opened in 1954.

The “C.M. & T.” referred to in the above advertisement meant “cut, make & trim”, which was what they did if you brought in your own material to their workshop. In 2002, the Geraghty family completely revamped and renovated the building and created a state of the art modern menswear shop in very good taste. The facade of the shop is elegant and understated, and it will be added to next Tuesday when the Cúirt Literary Festival will place a plaque on the wall. This will contain a poem in Irish by the distinguished poet, Máire Holmes. The poem is titled ‘Margadh’ and beautifully describes a sense of awareness the writer feels as she attends the Saturday market. It was on the Leaving Certificate course for many years.

The following day, Wednesday April 20, a plaque showing the words of the song ‘Galway Bay’ by Arthur Colohan in Irish, English, Latin, and French will be unveiled on the Prom, opposite the Atlantaquaria. These will form part of the literary trail of writings about Galway that has been built up by Cuirt over the last number of years.

The Old Galway Society will host a lecture in the Victoria Hotel this evening at 8pm. The title is “Pádraic Pearse and Rosmuc” and it will be given by local historian Máirtín Ó Meachair. All are welcome.

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