I called to Liam Ruiséal’s bookshop on Monday. I was looking for a book in connection with some work I am doing on old Cork family businesses, not knowing that Liam Ruiséal’s will close soon.
Yes, it is wonderful that it has lasted 100 years, but that doesn’t make it any less sad for the family and for all Cork people.
I remember when our old family business closed, in the 1980s, after trading for 160 years. It was like a death in the family; one of the saddest days I remember.
The internet and buying online make it difficult for the likes of Liam Ruiséal’s to compete, but, surely, we can see how important it is to support local family businesses.
They are part of the fabric of Cork City. For Cork people, and our valued tourists, it is vital to have our unique, small, family businesses, both in the English Market and in the surrounding streets. That’s what Cork is! That’s why people visit us.
What’s to be done? Ben Dunne, founder of Dunnes Stores, always said that opportunities create problems, but that problems create opportunities.
How about a Cork crowd-funding effort, though the likes of Linked Finance. The people of Cork could lend money, at either a zero or low rate of interest, to get this important, local family business back on its feet.
Liam Ruiseal’s would never be short of customers, because the Cork people who lent money would make sure they got their loans repaid by supporting the business into the future. Could be the start of the end for Amazon?