Close to half a century of trading as one of Letterkenny’s most popular shopkeepers is set to draw to an end when Joe Gallagher, proprietor of the Self Service Store on the town’s Lower Main Street, hangs up his familiar coat.
Located on the site of the former Gallagher’s Bakery - no relation - his shop has been a mainstay since opening up forty-eight years ago, boasting, as he says, a “mixture of everything” and hosting countless characters, no less than himself.
But the good news is the long established premises won’t be closing its doors. It has been taken over by Rachel Mullen who herself has worked there for twenty-three years.
“I’ll miss it surely but I’ll keep in touch whenever I can,” said Joe.
“I’ve had a lot of loyal customers over the years - all kinds of characters have come in here,” the Glenswilly native maintained.
“It’s good to see the shop staying open,” he added.
Since starting work in the Lower Main Street store over twenty years ago, Rachel has been a popular shop assistant who ran the store when Joe took ill last year.
The shop has hit national prominence and in 1993 featured in a booklet depicting Irish shop fronts.
So has he any plans for his retirement? “I don’t know what I’ll be doing,” admitted Joe.
One thing he will be continue to do is attend matches at the O’Donnell Park and other G.A.A. venues. On Sunday week last we was among the attendance at the Donegal/Laois National League fixture.