By Rose Barrett
Well-known cobbler Dermot Gaughran is set to retire from Swords Shoe Repairs this weekend.
On Saturday the Artane native will finish up at the shop on Main Street which he opened and ran for over 21 years.
Born and bred in Donnycarney, Dermot still lives at the family home in Gracefield Road, Artane where he and his late wife Paula reared their four children, Suzanne, Michelle, Laura and Francis.
Sadly, Paula died in 2005 and Francis died at a young age, both from cancer.
Young Dermot went to work at 14 years of age in Dunwells of Raheny, where he served his apprenticeship.
At 19, he went to work on Great Georges Street and also ran his own shop in Ballymun for years before opening up in Swords.
Swords Shoe Repairs is open from Monday to Saturday. Brian Kinsella who has divided the work hours with Dermot will be running the shop from next week and retaining it as a cobbler’s.
“Da has the three of us, and a total of 15 grandchildren, two great grandchildren and one on the way,” said daughter Michelle.
“He is a great family man; pre Covid we all used to meet at his house in Artane. Despite the family growing, we all managed to fit in, and to be fed!
“It’s one of the things he missed during the restrictions and we are all so looking forward to doing that again on Sundays when it’s safe to do so.”
Michelle noted he has built up a rapport with the people in Swords over the past two decades and was a great sponsor of Swords Tidy Towns. He always supported charity fundraisers, and notably, St Francis Hospice of Raheny was one of his favourite charities, having tenderly cared for Dermot’s late wife and son.
“But he is not just a shoe repairer, he fixes handbags, suitcases, leather jackets, buckles – he has been asked to fit all sorts!”
Michelle added that from birth her father was hard of hearing but enjoyed the banter with customers.
“He has found it hard since masks were introduced during the spread of the pandemic.”
Having celebrated his 70th birthday two weeks ago, Michelle said he was off to the golf course earlier this week and that’s where he intends to spend his retirement!
“He has great intentions of doing up the house too, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I think the golf will win out! He will do loads for all of us, and for other people but very seldom does it at home!
“He enjoys a pint of Guinness after a game of golf, and is a member of the Blarney Stone Golf Society (their local being The Goblet in Artane).”
Farewell and best wishes to Dermot on his retirement; at least, he knows he can depend on Brian at Swords Shoe Repairs to mend his golf shoes!
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PHOTO – Dermot Gaughran pictured with family members