Liam Lynch Jewellers, a much-loved shop located in the Market Parade is set to close its doors after 38 years trading. Photo: Liam Lynch Jewellers.

Farewell to an old Cork gem

After 38 years in business, Liam Lynch Jewellers, a beloved Cork institution, is bidding farewell as it plans to permanently close its doors at the end of September.

Liam, the jeweller behind the store, has dedicated 55 years of his life to the craft, and since 1985 his shop has been a permanent fixture in Market Parade at the edge of the English Market.

Hailing from Ballingeary in West Cork, and now living in Ovens, he began his career with William Egan and Sons on Patrick Street over five decades ago.

“I lost my job with Egans on a Friday evening and I got my redundancy, but I wasn’t daunted to go out on my own. I rented a room for six months from them before I opened my shop in Market Parade,” he told the Cork Independent.

Liam fondly acknowledged the loyalty and support of the people of Cork, who have returned to his shop time and time again. “We have lovely memories from lovely customers, and they have been fantastic over the years,” he said.

And the key to his enduring success? A commitment to his customers.

“The first thing I used to say when people started working here is ‘Always remember that the customer doesn’t have to come through our door, so as soon as they do, treat them properly.’ That was always my motto.”

Although he has witnessed shifts in the way people shop over time, Liam says that his store has remained relatively unchanged in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

“When everything started going online it made no difference whatsoever, even when we were selling watches that were available online, people still wanted to actually see their watch on their wrist. Because we do engravings, jewellery repairs and watch repairs, things haven’t changed that much for us,” he added.

Amongst the typical requests from customers, Liam recalls encountering a handful of more unusual ones over the years.

“I was asked to engrave terrible words that I just couldn’t repeat, so I didn’t do it. We were also asked to engrave something saying that it was blessed by the Pope, we wouldn’t do that either, the Pope never saw it!”

When the shop pulls down its shutters for the last time at the end of September Liam says he will be “devastated but delighted at the same time”.

However, he feels that he made the decision at the right time.

“I did it because I’m 68 and I’m 55 years working. It’s bittersweet, but I know the age I am, and I know it’s time to go.”

In the run-up to the shop’s closure Liam has launched a sale and says that it has been going very well.

As for retirement, he shared that he has plenty to keep himself occupied in the future.

“I live a very simple life. I go out walking with a Bandon group, I’ve two beautiful dogs and I do a bit of fishing as well, so I will have lovely stuff to do.”