The owner of one of the oldest shops in the Rosses has said during the pandemic young people turned to fishing, and other people returned to the joy of fishing, as they wanted to spend time outdoors and enjoy peace of mind.
Bonner’s fishing tackle shop in Dungloe is an institution. It has been there as long as some people can remember. The owner of the shop, Kevin Bonner says that they are busier than ever as people are now more enthusiastic than ever about fishing.
“Young people are now fishing and there are people who did fish years ago who got back into it again because of Covid-19 and to get out of the house,” he said.
Kevin’s products were adversely effected by the Suez Canal debacle which took place last March.
In March 2021, the Suez Canal was blocked for six days after the grounding of Ever Given, a 20,000 TEU container ship.
Some of Kevin's gear was struck on the tanker.
However, the Dungloe man is confident his gear will arrive early this week.
The shop is a treasure trove of treats with everything from fish nets, buckets and spades, wind chimes, local signs and photo frames on offer for the local and the tourist who enjoy the local beaches in summer.
Upstairs there is a lot of toys for children and boardgames.
However, his main trade is in fishing gear and across the shop you will find fishing rods, all types of life jackets, tackle and nets. Kevin said that many people have very fond memories of his shop. Many people from the surrounding villages and towns would have first visited the bridge-side shop on St Patrick’s day or during the Mary from Dungloe Festival.
Read also: Donegal people with plans to build a home or buy a new build may no longer be able to do so“There are people now who come in and visit with their own children and they were once here at the Irish college. And, I think to myself, 'it is wonderful to see you,” he said.
Kevin is well-known for this helpful and friendly manner: “The bottom line is, we are here to help and if you are looking for something, I will do my best to help you, if I can get it, I will get it,” he said.
He said that his helpful attitude has come to him from seeing the manner in which his parents dealt with people:“My mother was very good, if she could help you, she would. My dad was the same. I've taken it from them,” he said.
The shop on the bridge is steeped in history. At the moment, Kevin is busy collecting the history of Dungloe. Across the walls of his shops there are boards outlining the history of the wonderful Rosses town. Kevin’s grandfather was a prominent member of the town: “Johny Walsh who started more or less in 1930. We have history here and we have more in the house and hopefully next year, I will do a day to honour my grandfather who started the business.”
Mr Walsh was well known: “My grandfather was a good businessman, he was a member of the AOH, he was a bandman, he was a good man. I am doing my mother's history and my father's history too. We are happy out that we are in business and we will have a day next year to mark it, ” he said.
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