THE once-bustling Sarsfield Street is now going to have just two retail outlets after another shop announced its intention to close.
Seoidín Jewellery and Giftware is to close down after ten years operating in the city centre, in a move which means the only shops remaining on the streets are Le Chocolat hairdressers, and Franklin Shoe Repairs.
Over the last few years, Bay Trading has closed, as has O’Sullivan’s Shoe Shop.
United Colours of Benetton moved to Cruises Street before closing, while the largest unit was vacated when Dunnes Stores left its home beside Sarsfield Bridge.
Maureen Harrison, proprietor of Seoidín has blamed the council’s roadworks which began in 2010, and only recently ended.
She said she noticed a steep decline:
“It diverted traffic away from the street and its retailers, and they never seemed to return. We have been waiting to get business back to normal for a year,” she said, “But with the high rates, rent, new taxes and higher VAT, we could not keep up with the business plan, and decided to close down.”
Ms Harrison confirmed Seoidín jewellery will close at the end of May.
But she added the business will reopen in the future “choosing a busier, more viable location.”
The employees affected will be redeployed.
Cllr Ger Fahy, chairman of the transport and infrastructure committee, sympathised with Ms Harrison, but said the works were important for the city’s future.
“The work took a long time to complete, because Limerick City Council had to get the balance right. It was done to ensure the roads could last for decades and decades, and to ensure there were no negative effects. During that period, businesses obviously suffered, but now I have no doubt it will have a positive effect on businesses in William Street, Sarsfield Street, and the other areas.”