Noonan Brothers toy shop set to close

Published on: 31st May 2022

John and Jimmy Noonan have continued working in the store in Charleville, Eire well past retirement age but have decided to finally shut up shop.

Toymaster members the Noonan brothers have worked in Noonan’s toys and sports store for almost 100 years between them.

James R Noonan and his wife first opened a shop in the 1890s, in the heart of Charleville. When James passed away after the end of the war, his son Jack (John and Jimmy ‘s father) returned to Charleville to take over the family business with his wife, moving to a bigger shop on the main street as the business developed.

After introducing cards and souvenirs to the shop, toys were also added and gradually, the shop sold more and more cards, gifts and toys. In 1975, the brothers were asked if they wanted to take over the family business, and for the next 47 years they have worked side by side.

John and Jimmy say they have seen many fads over the years, but dolls and toy tractors have remained the most popular items throughout the generations of families they have served.

Noonan Bros has remained the only toy shop in Charleville, although in recent years competiton has presented itself in the form of online stores. The brothers firmly believe that online shopping can’t compete with strolling down the crammed aisles of Noonan’s, however, and say that if they had a euro for every time they heard “Mam, can I get this please?” they could have retired in their 30s. Instead they chose to work well past retirement age.

The store was open six days a week from 9am to 6pm. “We were enjoying it, all the laughs and craic and meeting people in the shop,” John told Limerick Live. “We will possibly cry our eyes out when we lock the door but that’s life. We’re going out on our own terms.”

On behalf of himself and Jimmy and the Noonan family, John wishes to thank all their customers who have supported them since 1975. The toys and sport shop will wind down during the summer.

Following an announcement of the impending closure on Facebook, the shop has received many messages from frinds and customers. One wrote: “So sad to hear this news. Generations of families went through those shop doors. They are a lovely family to work for and will be a huge loss to the town. Online shopping cannot replace local interaction – Good Luck in your future, John and Jimmy.”

“We want to say thank you for the many years of support, friendship and all the wonderful memories,” commented the brothers. “It has been an amazing 40+ years and we have loved being part of the Charleville community and area. We would like to say thank you to our valued customers and staff. We’re at another juncture in life and we’re looking forward to semi-retirement. When the stuff is gone, it’s gone.”


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