Monday, January 12, 2009

Three More Nails in the Coffin

A friend of your faithful correspondent recently spotted something in Dublin that gives something of a chilling illustration of just how bad things are in Ireland right now.

These three photographs are all of premises within five hundred feet of each other, on Prospect Road, Phibsboro, Dublin 9.

Chartbusters is the first of the three premises you meet as you walk north, towards Glasnevin cemetery. Chartbusters called in the liquidators last week. The shop in Phibsboro was either cc’d on the email or else has a boss who reads the papers, and is now flogging its stock and getting set to put up the boards.

McDonald’s plc isn’t going anywhere, of course, but the retail unit in Phibsboro is up for lease in one month, according to a sign on the building. Nothing symbolises Western Capitalism of the late twentieth century like Mickey D’s golden arches. And now they’re packing up and getting out of Dodge.

And finally Douglas Newman Good, like Saville’s on the other side of the North Circular Road, have moved along. What went around has come around for the auctioneering business in a grim illustration of just how delicate a bubble it really was.

Here’s the thing. Phibsboro is one and a half miles distant from the beating heart of Dublin. You can walk as far as it from O'Connell Street in half an hour. By any measure of a city, Phibsboro is a prime retail location. And these three shops are now gone or going. Dear God in Heaven – what’s going to be left come the summer? Will there even be a summer?

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