Pictured are Maureen and Kathleen Geraghty with their petition outside the family business Picture: Gerry Faughnan
Three generations of the Geraghty family have vowed to fight any plan to issue a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) on their shop on Main Street, Carrick-on-Shannon.
Speaking to the Leitrim Observer the family said they were “left devastated” when they discovered there were “plans were submitted to see if it is feasible to seek funding to demolish our shop and home” in order to build a Destination Centre in the town.
The family, who are celebrating 70 years in business in 2021, have taken to social media highlighting their concerns over the proposal and the lack of communication from the Council.
Speaking to the Observer, Karen Geraghty Prior, granddaughter of the current owner of the property, Kathleen Geraghty, said the family had been shocked to hear from a neighbour that there was such a proposal.
“Four generations of our family have lived and worked here and it is my hope to one day raise my own family and grandchildren here as well,” she said.
“This is more than a business, it has been home to our family for four generations. I live here now and my mother, her sisters and brother were all brought up here. My granny and grandad built this business up over many years.
“It has been a complete shock to be told that there is a plan to demolish our family home and business.”
She said that the family had been surprised and heartened by the amount of support their petition and campaign had received in a such a short period of time.
“It has been very emotional for all of us but especially for my granny,” she added.
The family said they had initially been told by the Council that they would be allowed to view the proposal but said that they had since been informed “that the information is too sensitive to view” explains Karen.
“We have been told that we'll have our time to have our say after the funding for the project has been secured but we don't want it to get that far. We are going to fight this,” she said.
An online petition page set up in the last week by members of the family states: "We as a family are shocked to discover that the plans were submitted to see if it is feasible to seek funding to demolish our shop and home “Geraghty’s” this was without our knowledge or our consent. We are based in the North West of Ireland in the tourist town of Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim. Our shop has a deep tradition of trade with artists, musicians, antique collectors, tourists, and our loyal local customers.
“We want it known that we did NOT and do NOT give our consent to these plans from the Leitrim County Council. We OBJECT to any proposals on our behalf which involves our property. Any person stating that we the “Geraghty’s” have no objections to these plans are fraudulently misrepresenting.”
The family point out their building is of historic significance, adding “The building dates to 16th and 17th century Carrick-on-Shannon, it was the original part of the town centre of the historical Main Street.”
In a post on the shop's Facebook page, Ella Geraghty, daughter of Kathleen Geraghty said: “We very much appreciate and are overwhelmed with all the support that we have received from you; the phone calls, drop-ins, offer of help, the fantastic stories that you’ve shared, the petition signatures, likes, shares and comments. You have all been amazing and we do so appreciate it all.”
The petition is available at https://bit.ly/3f45K6l