Skibbereen is one to watch these days.
And as the town evolves and brave entrepreneurs continue to revive its’ charming but dated bones, there’s a new spot to stay the next time you head west for the weekend.
It might look like a vintage store from the front, but B O’Driscoll’s Tailor Shop has a little secret.
Sleeping four guests in two cosy bedrooms, and with ample space for a fun grown-up get-together along the bespoke bar in the living room, the rental is the work of Miriam Minihane and her husband Gearóid O’Mahony from Inishannon.
Both self-employed, Gearóid is a mechanic and Miriam makes custom cakes at her busy Blackthorn Bakery, the couple have a longtime love for Skib’ and settled on the town for a little design project.
“I have a degree in hospitality management and love all things interiors,” Miriam told Yay Cork.
“I have such a grá for Skibbereen, my mother is from Skibbereen and I worked in hospitality for years in Skibb at The Church Restaurant. The town is full of fantastic shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, and most importantly some wonderful characters and we wanted to be a part of that long list of fabulous places locally.
“The buzz on a Saturday morning (Market Day) in Skibbereen is just electric and unlike anywhere else.”
They sought out a property with real history: “Barty (Senior) O’Driscoll set up the Tailor Shop in the 1930s and it was later run by his son Jeremiah.
“There was the shop in the front and living quarters behind/upstairs. There were eight in the family all living in the house! Locals can recall Jeremiah O’Driscoll sitting, legs crossed, on top of the counter, tailoring away.
“All the items on display in the shop window and shelves are original to the shop – even the mirror hanging behind the couch was the original tailor’s mirror. The kitchen table and chairs were always there and we stripped back the fireplace in the kitchen to the original red brick and sanded and repainted all the original lettering on the shop front.”
The couple did a lot of the restoration work themselves, enlisting local experts for re-roofing, rewiring and plumbing.
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“It’s been an extremely long and tough process, juggling our other businesses and finding the time to get it finished but it was a labour of love – it’s been so worth it to have brought the building back to life.”
Spend a weekend in Skibb’
The town is ideal for a laid-back getaway. You can mosy down and join the queue for coffee at O’Neill’s first thing, stroll through the Saturday market hunting for homemade jams and sheepskin rugs, then check out the treasures inside the Mardyke Magpie antique shop.
After lunch in Dillon’s Corner or brunch at Rebel Rebel or The Church, while away an hour or two in one of the jaw-dropping bookshops owned by Inanna at The Masonic Hall and The Mill.
The Old Tailor Shop is available to book now, €290 per night, via Airbnb.