It’s the centre of life on Leeside.
But as British department store Debenhams gets ready to leave St Patrick Street forever after closing all its Irish stores, a question mark hangs over which brand will be next to occupy a large part of the street-facing property in one of Cork’s prime shopping areas.
It’s not the first time a major upheaval has changed the face of Cork’s beloved ‘Pana’.
This image, shared by the Twitter account @IrishFamilyDetective, shows what St Patrick’s Street looked like in the swinging Sixties, when nobody could envision a world where Roches Stores didn’t exist.
The photograph, taken from the centre of Cork’s main thoroughfare, shows locals going about their business in front of two of the largest stores of that time: Roches Stores on the left and Cash’s on the right.
— IrishFamilyDetective (@Fiona_Forde_Irl) April 10, 2020
Brown Thomas opened in the Cash’s premises in 1998 after it had remained empty for 15 years. The brand spent millions on an overhaul of the building, which has been a part of the St Patrick’s Street landscape since the 1920s.
The street, which follows a curve from Saint Patrick’s Bridge to Daunt Square, where it meets Grand Parade, was redeveloped in 2004. Debenhams took over the Roches Stores building in 2006. There’s a news report detailing the sale in this news report from the RTÉ Archives.
With any luck, the vast space occupied by Debenhams on St Patrick’s Street won’t remain empty for long.