This will be Pauline Brady’s last Christmas running her shop.

‘I loved it, every minute of it’ - Pauline

RETIRE Ballinagh clothes outlet set to call it a day after 35 years

After 35 years running her shop at the top end of Ballinagh, this Christmas will mark Pauline Brady’s last in business.

While she welcomes the freedom granted by retirement, she will miss running Pauline’s Fashions which has been such a big part of her life.

“I opened the business in February ‘88 and I’m closing with now in February ‘23, so that’s 35 years I’ll have been here.”

Pauline had worked as a telephonist in Cavan Town post office, and a decision by management saw her make the leap to open her own business.

“They were closing the telephone exchange in Cavan and I was being transferred to Mullingar. But I had three kids at the time and I said ‘No, I can’t go’ and I just retired. And then this came up and I took the opportunity to see what I could do with it,” says Pauline, who was Ballinagh born and bred.

By that stage the shop had already been established for 30 years, run by Kathleen Gaynor under the name ‘Gaynor’s Fashion’. The timing of the shop and residence coming on the market couldn’t have been better for Pauline.

“I continued it on the way Kathleen was running it – it was a shop that catered a lot for the older generation, and I did a bit of everything for everyone.

“I loved it,” she says, savouring the memories. “Every minute of it.”

The shop gave structure to Pauline’s day, shaped how she was known in the community and importantly, provided an income to help rear her family.

“To get up in the morning and open up, and then meet people and have a chat, you got to know everyone coming in and out to you,” she says of the little pleasures of running a village business.

It seems closure was inevitable.

“There’s three of my suppliers who I got my clothes from have closed up since Covid came in,” she explains, and adds the trend towards online shopping and rising costs of rates, electric, heating.

Husband Padraig quips the real reason is they’re getting older which gives her a laugh, but it’s clear she’s bruised by the shop's imminent closure.

“I feel sad that I have to close, I do, but just the way things are gone, it’s not worth my while keeping it open.”

What’s the plan for retirement?

“I’ll take it easy, put my feet up. We’ll have a bit of time to ourselves,” she says.

“I did well in it, and for the time I was here, it was good.”

Pauline is grateful to all her customers for their long standing support.