Michael Cloherty’s new premises, 36 Shop Street, 1902

“Opening of New premises. Michael Cloherty, ironmonger and seedsman begs to inform his numerous customers and the public in general, that owing to his premises in Williamsgate Street having been burnt down, and being desirous of meeting the requirements of his Patrons, he has purchased the extensive premises owned by his brother, Mr Henry Cloherty, and known as 36, Shop Street, Galway, which he has stocked with an extensive Supply of all descriptions of Goods suitable to his Trade, so that those who patronised him in the past may not suffer any inconvenience in obtaining whatever class of goods they may require, in keeping with the business carried on in his late establishment.

“As all the Goods in Stock are of the most modern description and of the most superior quality, Advertiser trusts he may enjoy a continuance of the patronage which he received in the past, and hopes, by the strictest attention to business, and an endeavour to please all who may favour him with their Custom, to merit a fair share of Public Patronage.”

Thus ran an advertisement in 1902. You did not have to teach Mr Cloherty much about marketing. The strategic capital letters in the advert are all his. If you look at the scale of his building compared to that of the horses and cars on the street, or the people on the footpath, you will see that he has made his premises appear much grander and more impressive than it really was.

He sold ranges, stoves, grates, cutlery, lamps, tools, overmantels, washing and wringing machines, meat safes, churns, filters, furniture, wallpapers, paints, colours, oils, kitchen utensils, galvanized and enamel goods, china, delft, glassware, electric fittings, and a great assortment of other goods.

His father was also Michael Cloherty, and we know he was in these premises as far back as 1859. He sold many of the items listed above as well as builders’ and upholsterers’ requisites, farmers’ and mechanics’ implements, gun and blasting powder, shot fuse, revolvers, guns, cartridges, game bags, every article in the sporting line, cements and plaster of Paris, golza and paraffin oil, brushes and chamois, sponges, hip and sponge baths, etc, etc.

The building was later bought by the Naughton family, who linked it to their existing premises next door. In 1929 a woman called Madame Moran occupied part of the first floor and ran a ladies’ hairdressing salon there. She was fairly good at marketing too... “The best equipped and most up to date in the west; Only experienced operators in attendance; for method, style and finish, you cannot do better than have your next perm or re-set done at this salon; Personal Supervision; Immediate attention.” Her phone number was Galway 140.

This evening at 8.30pm in the Mercy School, the Old Galway Society will host a lecture entitled ‘Holywood, Skibereen and the death of Celia Griffin’. It will be given by Mark Kennedy and all are welcome.

On Monday next, February 13, the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society will host a lecture entitled ‘The Finances of Grand Juries in Ireland’ which sheds new light on the revenues and expenditures of these bodies, of positive work and of corruption before and after the Famine. It will be given by Dr Aidan Kane, starting at 8pm, and all are welcome.

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