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An ode to Ireland’s dying coastal communities

The following piece was written by Ciara Boyle due to the news that the Fish Shop in Killybegs is to close down - but this is more than a story about one shop in one town - the heartfelt tone of this echos the feelings in every coastal town and every rural area in Ireland as we slowly see traditional way life as we know it coming to an end



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The Shop on the Corner




Atop the street there sits a shop


It’s been for too few years


Just at the turn a place to stop


For fish fresh from the pier.


The shop it has a beating heart


It’s run the whole week long


By a gentle man who each morn starts


With a cheery smile and playful song.


For those who do not know him


Yous are surely missing out


For the man brings life back to the shop


He’s healed it, there’s no doubt.


For before the man there was another


Who sold not fish but meat


That had the corner shop for years


And livened up the street.


A street that lost the spirit


That it had some time ago


When Killybegs was a booming town


Before work had gotten slow.


Where boats they landed all year round


With fish and fish go leor


So ordinary men and women could work


In a town they can no more.


I’ve heard the stories of such a place


That thrived and brewed such fun


Where young could stay and work the space


And join the old when jobs were done.


Of course it’s not for everyone,


Sure plenty went away


But loneliness was not as strong


When young could choose to stay.


But now our men can catch no fish


And so the town downturns


But the folk in Dublin don’t seem to care


If rural Ireland burns.


And now the shop is set to close


For fish is scarce and dear


And all year long you’d hardly see


A soul upon the pier.


And young ones now must go away


And live at home no more


And we’ll watch the Fish Shop we longed to have


Too soon will close it’s door.


Thank you to those two men who waved


And smiled while we did pass


Let’s hope some day the town we’ll save


And the Fish Stop will be back

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