Belfast Telegraph

Renovated Clerys reveals history

The Clerys department store marked its renovation by revealing detail on what it cost to get back in business after its last great destruction.

The company put in a claim for £78,556, one shilling and eight pence, after the building was destroyed during the 1916 Easter Rising, state papers have shown.

Documents held by the National Archives was sent in July 1916 as Clerys sought to restock as they took up temporary premises on Lower Abbey Street.

And the business was back again today after the latest refit in its colourful history.

The 160-year-old department store was destroyed from top to bottom in a 16 minute flash flood caused by a torrential downpour four months ago.

At the opening, Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said the shop and its staff have witness to some of the most important events that have ever taken place in Dublin.

"In 1916, the Easter Rising commenced just across the road from this store at the General Post Office. At that time, the original Clerys building was destroyed. But, undaunted, the shop was rebuilt, and restocked, and opened once again," he said.

"Clerys adds to the life of this historic street, and our capital city, and I am delighted to welcome it back."

The building which now houses Clerys, as well known as a meeting point and landmark as a shop, is was designed by the world-famous architect, Robert Atkinson, in 1922.

The renovation following the flood has used many original features from the first rebuild in a bid to revive its fortunes.

The department store's owner, OCS Operations, a subsidiary of private equity and investment company Gordon Brothers Europe, paid about one million euro (£838,000) for the landmark store after Bank of Ireland appointed a receiver to the business and took it from the Guiney family, who had it for 70 years.

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