Fenelon’s A History Of Firsts
The world is full of notable firsts. History tends to remember events that influence the scale of time: reaching the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, the first man on the moon in 1969…But in 1966, a number of historical firsts happened right here in Ireland which in turn had a massive impact on the shopping landscape and habits of the nation.
Did you know?
In 1966, fresh from his success at the Eurovision Song Contest with his number one hit “Come back and stay” , Dickie Rock opened the Stillorgan Shopping Centre. It was part of a very unique project at that time, as the Stillorgan Shopping Centre was the very first shopping centre to be purpose built in Ireland. Before then, shopping was only done down the village or on the main street of the local town.
Progress had its victims though and in order to build the shopping centre a lovely row of cottages built during the early 19th century was knocked down. The line of cottages extended from the Christian GAABrothers’ school, Oatlands College, to the end of the Dublin Road and up the Lower Kilmacud Road. The rubble was used to fill in and level the lands that are now Páirc dé Burca, the playing field of Kilmacud Crokes GAA Club , so some good came out of it. Much like shopping centres nowadays, the shopping centre had anchor stores in the form of supermarkets. Back then, there were three: Quinnsworth, Powers Supermarket and Lipton Supermarket. Can anyone remember these?
Quinnsworth and Powers became part of Associated British Foods and were eventually taken over by Tesco. Liptons was part of the famous tea company with the supermarkets sold off in the 1970s to Safeways and now owned by Morrisons. Certainly a lot of change!