CORK HERITAGE: Lecture on old Shops of Clonakilty

23 January 2018
By Elaine Murphy

“Hard Times – Shops and Shopkeepers in Clonakilty 1870–1920”, is the title of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage’s next public lecture which will take place next Thursday 25th January at 8pm at The Parish Centre.

The lecture is sure to be of interest to many locals, in particular current day businesses in the town centre, who will find out who and what commercial activities were undertaken in their buildings 100-150 years ago, including at O’Donovan’s Hotel.

Shops and shopkeepers in Clonakilty faced hardships and challenges in business during those decades.

As time progressed, they embraced the opportunities of advertising in the local press. They also found ways of supplementing their family income. The story of these shopkeepers is told through a variety of historical sources and throws up some interesting facts and surprises.

Above all, the lecture will emphasise the importance of small shops and businesses in the town centre and the importance of supporting them.

The lecture will be delivered by Dúchas member Carmel Flahavan who has a particular interest in social history and the development of shopping trends. She worked as a librarian in the Carlow County Library service up to 2014, where one of her special responsibilities was local studies, and she was the researcher for the County Carlow pages on the “Ask About Ireland” website ( She has years of experience speaking to both adult and student groups on local studies sources. Carmel returned to her native West Cork after retiring and joined Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage in 2014.

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