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‘End of an era’ as legendary Irish shop confirms closure after eight decades

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A LEGENDARY Aran knitwear shop will close its doors for good at the end of this month after decades in business.

Locals hailed the closure of Siopa Uí Mháille as the “end of an era” after the Galway city business confirmed the sad news.

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Siopa Uí Mháille is one of the oldest family-run businesses in Galway cityCredit: Estate Agent Collect
The store is famous for its hand-knitted traditional Aran sweaters and knitwear

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The store is famous for its hand-knitted traditional Aran sweaters and knitwearCredit: Estate Agent Collect

The knitwear shop, which is one of the oldest family-run businesses in the city, was first opened on Dominick Street in 1938.

Galway native Pádraig Ó Máille took the plunge and opened up the business, which has been run by his nephew Ger and his wife Anne for the past five decades.

The pair have decided to close up shop in order to take retirement.

O’Maille’s store is famous for its selection of the highest quality tweeds, hand-knitted traditional Aran sweaters and knitwear.

Anne is an “avid knitter” who works in the traditional style of Aran knitting, working closely with women for Connemara and the Aran Islands, according to RTE News.

These women still knit in the original style and provide the shop with all its clothing – but Anne admitted that she believes this tradition is dying out.

Speaking to RTE, she said that her daughters have no interest in learning the skill, meaning it will be lost when the older women are gone.

Anne also spoke of her love for the artform, admitting: “We just loved wool and we love the idea of goods that are made locally and made well, by people who are passionate about what they do.”

One of the highlights of O’Maille’s throughout their many successful trading years was tailoring costumes for the film ‘The Quiet Man’ in 1951.

‘Heartbreaking decision’ for Irish cafe with ‘no choice’ but closure after facing high costs

Some seven decades ago the landmark location garnered worldwide attention when Hollywood stars flocked to the village of Cong, which straddles the border between Co Mayo and Co Galway.

The film follows a retired boxer who travels to his hometown in Ireland to reclaim his family farm.

And in a tribute to the movie, a photograph of stars John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara and other cast members still hangs on a wall of the widely known clothing store.

RESTAURANT CLOSURE

Separately, another community has been left devastated after a popular restaurant has announced it will be closing their doors this weekend.

The Sooty Olive, located in Derry, has been forced to shut its doors as the cost of living crisis continues.

After 11 years the multi award winning restaurant will close on Sunday.

Chef Sean Harrigan, who scooped best chef in the Ulster Regional Irish Restaurant Awards just last week, thanked customers for their loyalty.

He said: “After 11 years almost to the day, our journey is coming to an end.

“We will be closing the restaurant on Sunday 21 of April due to ever increasing difficulties in running a small restaurant with ever increasing costs.

“We have had an amazing 11 years…a heartfelt thanks to our staff over the years…our suppliers and of course you our amazing customers.

“So if there’s vouchers to be used this is the week… Thank you all so much for the memories.”

Punters took to the comments to share well-wishes to the award-winning chef, with one slamming it “a joke” that the business has been forced to close its doors.

One fan said: “Very sad news, we’re so sorry to hear this. The Sooty Olive is a firm favourite.”

Another said: “So sad to hear this.

“One of my favourite spots! Good luck to all in your new journeys.”

One fan shared: “Sorry to read this folks, a huge loss for the city.

“Best wishes for your future plans.”

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