Templemore (Tipperary)

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Shortt's Drapery
Shortt's Drapery

Shortt’s Drapery

  • Templemore Clonmore Killea Review 2019 -Ref. C.J. d’Estelle Roe 01 November 2019/accessed 14th April 2020


Shortts, a three-storey building in Main Street, formerly Frances Street, was a well-known drapery business.  In the census of 1901 Mr. Armstrong Evans, his wife Elizabeth and three sons, George, Armstrong and William were the residents.  The business then consisted of a grocery and provisions store.  The family were still residing here in the 1911 census. 

John Shortt, Ballypatrick, Drom, one of a family of ten children, of parents Patrick and Mary (née Leahy), was the next proprietor.  John’s parents were married in Drom on 10th February 1872 and reared their big family on a small holding in Ballypatrick.  When John came of age, he served his time in Moffat’s Patrick Street, “General Draper, Boot and Shoe Merchant, News Agent, Stationer & Fancy House.  He soon met his future wife, Catherine Ryan, Barnane, who also worked in Moffats.  An advertising sign in her department read, “The Best House in Town for all classes of Drapery Goods, Dressmaking on the Premises under an Experienced Cutter and Bonnet Maker.”  

John purchased the shop in Main Street in 1915, and with his wife Catherine started a small drapery business, while he continued to work in Moffat’s.  John eventually bought the adjoining property to his drapery, making it into one large store.  The Shortts developed the premises into one fine building, to accommodate the shop and a family home.  Business was challenging, John and Catherine having to embrace two wartime situations, while rearing a family of nine, four boys and five girls.  John’s untimely death came in 1951.

John and Catherine’s son Tom had served his time in a large drapery shop, Lee’s of Rathmines, Dublin.  He in due course took over the running of a successful business at home with his mother Catherine.  In 1964 Tom decided to refurbish the shop, engaging local contractors, Duggan Brothers, then trading as Múintir Dubhgáin.  The new roof and projecting canopy introduced a modern visual impact on the streetscape from 1964 onwards.  With the new image both internally and externally, the business continued to flourish. 

Michael O’Brien from Barnane served his time with Tom and they became a formidable duo.  Michael in time was to take over the shop when Tom died in 1996, continuing the business in the time honoured tradition, always caring and friendly, supported by a wonderful clientele. 

The Shortt premises in 2019 was acquired by Templemore Voluntary Housing, an organisation which provides sheltered accommodation for elderly in our community.  Michael O’Brien shared his memory of Tom “The Long and the Shortt of it” in the 2017 Review-  (Ref. Templemore Clonmore Killea Review 2017)

Type of Building:

Business (Shop/Office)

Some communities associated with this building

Some ancestors associated with these communities

Some buildings associated with these communities