Kiltimagh Closures Suggest Loss of Banks Is A Killer Blow – Feb 2018

February 13, 2018

Towns in east and south Mayo are reporting mixed fortunes, with new businesses opening in Claremorris and Swinford, but with three closing in Kiltimagh.

The Paper Shop, which was in the centre of the town, shut its doors after years of serving the community, while Eden Flowers and Byrne’s Butchers also closed recently. The latter business shut its doors after the death of owner, Paddy Byrne.

Carroll’s Supermarket is the only grocery store left on Kiltimagh’s Main Street, with the Village News, Mulherin’s, and Gallagher’s, beside the local church all closed for a number of years. Supervalu is at the rear of the town.

But it’s a different tale in nearby Swinford, where Cllr Michael Smyth can list a plethora of new businesses, including a kitchen company, gym, accountants’ firm, and agricultural consultant.

“We’ve been lucky, because we have kept our banks. Kiltimagh and Charlestown have lost theirs and it has has an impact.” Claremorris pharmacist and chamber of commerce member, Jimmy Flynn, says the south Mayo town has not been as badly affected as others in the region.

“While we are still in the so-called storm, it has abated. At Christmas, people were more focused on leaving their money in the local town,” he said.

A number of businesses opened in Claremorris, before Christmas and another two are due to open shortly, with the town’s central location attracting people to live in the area to commute to jobs in Galway, Sligo, Castlebar, and Westport. Claremorris Chamber of Commerce is lobbying hard to have the Urban Renewal Scheme extended to towns like Claremorris, Ballinrobe, and Ballyhaunis, which would attract people to live in the town centres.

“The streets are ripe for regeneration, but it needs to be driven by local and central government,” said Mr Flynn. “There needs to be a concrete proposals to incentivise development, including tax breaks and a relaxing of the building regulations, introduced in 2011.”

by Marian Duggan – Western People

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