150-year-old Dublin music shop set to close doors due to family illness

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An iconic family-run music shop in Dublin’s city centre shocked fans with news of their impending closure.

Dubliners have hailed today as the end of an era for musicians across the capital as Charles Byrne’s music shop said they were closing their doors for good.

Customers shared their happy memories of the shop and thanked the family for all of their kind deeds over the years.

Many had bought their first instrument in the shop, and had been encouraged by shop-owner Charlie to pursue their talent.

Others simply saw the shop as a part of old Dublin’s colourful and unique landscape, one that is “quickly disappearing”.

The shop announced its closure on Facebook, explaining that family illness is behind the shop’s closure.

They wrote: “This is an announcement I never thought I would make, certainly not two or three years ago.

“But life has changed dramatically (for many of us) in that time and some very difficult decisions have had to be made.

“We have not been open due to a family illness and last few weeks have been extremely difficult and emotional on top of a very difficult few years.

“The question of continuing the shop has been a constant issue .

“The stark reality is between Covid lockdowns and caring full time, continuing to trade is really not an option.

“It would require a level of commitment, time, money, and emotion that none of us are able to give; life is short, and a work life balance has to be restored.

“I know that so many of you will understand this and have experienced similar choices. I hope you will all understand this decision.”

The statement continued: ” I have the fondest memories of feiles, and sales days, and ukuhoolies, and sales evenings, and workshops and Saturdays when some of ye would call in just for a chat.

“Some great and I sincerely hope enduring friendships have emerged.

“We’re so sad to say goodbye to those days, but we know we’re making a decision that is right for us as a family. Leaving 150 years of tradition is hard.

“Thank you all sincerely for the support, the custom, the laughs, the kindness and the joy you brought to us.”

The shop’s clearance sale will start this Saturday, giving Dublin musicians old and young the chance to say goodbye properly.

Fans of the shop took to social media to mark the sad occasion, explaining that they were not just paying for the instruments.

One musician tweeted: I’m sorry to deliver a sad announcement. The 150+ year tenure of Charles Byrne’s shop is coming to an end.

“Thank you to the Byrne family for the many memorable exchanges of laughs, stories, music, and kindness.

“Yet another cultural loss for Dublin town.

“The closure is being done on the family’s own noble terms as they prioritise Charlie, who has Alzheimers.

“The decision has also been expedited by the pandemic. Please consider supporting the family during their clearance sale on the Sat 16th and 18–23rd October.”

Another loyal customer commented: “Wishing you and your family every strength and wish you need.

“We have bought my daughter’s violins from you over the years and have a beautiful memory of your dad spending some of his valuable time showing her how to hold and care for her instrument and how to follow a conductor.”

A third person said: “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.

“Dublin’s losing a true piece of its history.”

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