NEWS

Liam Smyth of Smyths Toys passes away

Published on: 25th July 2023

Toy World is sad to report the passing of Liam Smyth, who was a director of Smyths Toys Superstores, along with three of his brothers.

Liam Smyth has passed away at the age of 60. He died at the Mayo Hospice, Castlebar following a period of illness. Liam was one of the directors of the well known Smyth’s Toys retail chain, along with a number of his brothers.

Liam hailed from Claremorris, County Mayo, where the Smyths business began life as a newsagents. The company has since grown from its humble beginnings to become one of the largest toy retailers in Ireland and the UK. Liam worked as a director alongside Tony, Padraig and Thomas Smyth.

In 2018, Smyths acquired Toys R Us stores in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, re-branding the stores to Smyths and marking the start of the company’s expansion into mainland Europe. In 2022, this was furthered by the acquisition of French toy chain PicWicToys and stores opening in The Netherlands. Smyths now operates over 272 stores across six countries.

Tributes have been paid to Liam by the local Chamber of Commerce, where a spokesperson described him as a leading figure in the business life of the town. In a statement, members paid tribute to his tireless efforts to improve the economy and amenities there.

Liam was a proud supporter of Claremorris GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association). A statement from the club said his passing was a huge loss to the town: “Everyone associated with Mayo GAA would like to express their sincere sympathy on the untimely death of Liam Smyth, a proud Claremorris man and a great supporter of Mayo GAA over the years.”

The club said its academy squads benefited greatly from Liam’s support and added that “Liam always extended this support in a quiet and an unassuming way; his warmth and generosity extended to many other walks of life both locally and further afield.”

The Claremorris Chamber of Commerce statement added: “With his brothers Tony, Padraig and Tommie, together they accomplished what very few Irish businesses achieve, they grew one shop in a small town into a global giant. Liam wore that modestly. Regardless of how busy he was, he always found time for whatever cause or group needed assistance. He was one of a kind.”

Liam is survived by his wife Anne and their five sons: Alex, Ben, Harry, Josh and Sam. Toy World would like to add its condolences to them, and to Liam’s brothers Tony, Padraig, Thomas and Joe, his sister Maura and the extended Smyth family at this sad time.

Liam’s Funeral Mass will take place at St. Colman’s Church, Claremorris on Wednesday 26th July, with the burial afterwards in St. Colman’s Cemetery.

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