Posted by Royal on September 09, 2007 at 16:18:06:
In Reply to: what is castlebar's oldest business? posted by Colm on September 07, 2007 at 10:38:35:
After the Connaught Telegraph, the longest ,continuous business in Castlebar, that I can find was “William P.Gibbons – General Mechants”, who carried on their business at Bridge Street, for a staggering 163 years. They eventually sold their property to the Hoban Bros and today, a no of businesses are located there such as Easons,Hynes’s,etc They had a very large residence & shop, with a no of stone-built stores & out-offices at the rear of their premises, which some still stand today & which are the property of Tony McHugh of the Welcome Inn.
They first opened business in the year 1780 & became the principal merchants in C/bar. They also kept their Catholic religion when it was dangerous & not fashionable to do so. Matthew Gibbons, grandfather of William, achieved hero status in 1845,when the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Town but the Earl of Lucan refused to sell them any of his property. Gibbons & 3 other businessmen, as private individuals, purchased the land in Rock Square & handed the deeds over to the nuns, much to the fury of Lucan.
William Gibbons, a bachelor died in 1946 & left an estate worth £156,000 to his sister, Mrs. Kate Sheridan, who had resided with him, ever since her husband died, William Sheridan, Solicitor, from Spencer Park.
She died in 1952 & bequeathed her residence and contents to a distant cousin from Northern Ireland. She left the balance of her large estate to her Trustees, with instructions to distribute the proceeds to deserving charitable objects within the Archdiocese.
The installation of a new heating system & the treatment of the roof of the Church of the Holy Rosary, C/bar were just two examples of where her money went.
By the way, by the time the Hoban’s had taken over the property, they themselves were soon celebrating the centenary of the foundation of their family firm in Castlebar!
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