Griffin’s Close Newsagency Business

J.P.Griffin & Sons, which served as newsagents to generations of Castleislanders, closed that side of its business at the weekend. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Castleisland’s oldest newsagent, where generations of locals bought their morning, evening and weekly newspapers, magazines and comics has decided to close that side of its business.

J.P. Griffin & Sons, or ‘Davy’s’ as it is still known locally, explained the move with a notice on the windows of the Latin Quarter, Killarney Road based shop last week and the premises was closed on Saturday.

However, the shop will re-open early next month – albeit with shorter hours – and will deal in some of its traditional stock in education supplies including school books and stationery, cards, toys, books and other lines.

Escape and Wonder

For youngsters of many generations, Griffin’s was a veritable Alladin’s Cave of escape and wonder as the shop stocked every brand and name of comic a boy or girl could want.

As I child I spent many an evening at the door of the shop with the Evening Herald devouring every latest word from the training camps of the then Cassius Clay and the brooding Sonny Liston before their world heavyweight title fight in February 1964.

Shook up the World

After his six round annihilation of Liston, Clay, later Muhammad Ali claimed that he ‘Shook up the World’ – and he did – the sporting world – at least.

It was a world that was already badly shook up already by the previous November’s assassination of American President John F Kennedy.

Newspapers and the photographs they carried were the eyes of the world at the time and almost since.

It’s the gradual disappearance of that world and the newspaper reading generations that has now led to the closure of the news-agency side of Griffin’s and of many more places like it.

Statement from Griffin’s

“Due to continuous decline in readership and sales of newspapers and magazines over the past number of years, internationally, nationally and locally, and other factors affecting the sale of traditional newsagent products, we have decided that we will no longer be operating our news-agency from 24th November 2018.

This means we will no longer be selling newspapers, magazines, Lotto, Payzone products – phone and electricity top-ups after that date.

We would like to express our deepest thanks to all our loyal news-agency customers over the years, and to emphasise that this decision has not been taken lightly.

We will be closing for a short break after this date, and intend to reopen again (with shorter opening hours) to focus on our educational supply business – including school books and stationery, along with cards, toys, books and other products.”

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