This article from the Irish Times is a good read, heartwarming, encouraging and inspiring for many.
End of an era as the Last Corner Shop closes: ‘I’m going to cry’
John Hyland’s devotion to his customers has made him a much-loved shopkeeper
“Everything changes,” says John Hyland. At 69, the newsagent is retiring after 35 years in his well-known shop on the corner of George’s Street Upper and Clarinda Park West in Dún Laoghaire, in south Co Dublin.
The crowded shelves and stacks and racks of newspapers and magazines have been gradually depleting, and over the weekend and into Monday a steady stream of regulars, of all ages, have been coming in for their papers and to wish Hyland well.
As he courteously thanks people for their custom, he seems quietly surprised at the reaction to his departure. “Some I wouldn’t even know by sight. I have lovely customers. When I do a little thing, get something they’re looking for, they’re so grateful.”
John Hyland may have been both the worst shopkeeper in Ireland and one of the best. Whether some customers had the money to buy what they wanted didn’t seem to bother Hyland too much: he always put them first
The sign over the shop reads Dun Leary’s Last Corner Shop: A Service Newsagent. His wares have been spread on to the footpath, on makeshift tables and racks, since well before Covid made it a popular approach. He has stocked an astonishing range of publications: regional papers from every county in Ireland, Le Monde, the New York Review of Books. If you couldn’t find it at Eason you could probably find it at John’s (as locals call the shop), from 5am until 2.30am every day of the year. As well as sweets and cigarettes, there’s a small range of other goods, from cornflakes to condoms to cat food.
It’s worth reading the whole article and watching this video from Ronan Kelly: