On the 31st of August 2019 at 6.50pm we got a phone call to say the Douglas Village Shopping Centre was on fire. It's hard to believe that is nearly a year ago. Our first reaction was to check if all staff had managed to leave and were safe at home. Thankfully we close our pharmacy at 6pm on Saturday's and all were safe and accounted for. Our next concern was for any of our customers who may still have been in the shopping centre at that time. Again, thankfully everyone was evacuated safely. By 9pm we could see the smoke continued to drift across the Douglas skyline, and by 11pm were certain the building would collapse. We knew at that point we would need a new premises, or we would have to close our business. Closure was a shivering thought and not an option.
We were incredibly lucky to find a vacant premises in St. Patrick Woollen Mills, and we are so grateful for the generosity we encountered from the Murphy family who kindly welcomed us to their premises. We immediately began a pharmacy refit and continued servicing our customers from our pharmacy in Onslow Gardens so a huge thanks to all in Pharmacy First Plus Northside. Work in the Woollen Mills took five weeks and we were back operating in Douglas on October 7th. The support from the community was incredible and looking back we could not have continued to trade in Douglas without them and that of Hepburn Professional, Spokeshave, King Signs, the Paint Depot, and many more who contributed to the refit. Kind words and encouragement from our new neighbours in Interosity, Finline, On the Pigs Back Cafe, and the South County kept our spirits up as our business model changed completely.
All of this and no mention of Covid-19. It's been an exhausting year. And a year we could not have got through without the support of our pharmacy team. Thank you, thank you, thank you to: Bernadette, Ger, Colin, Deirdre, Joanne, Santa, and Catriona. They really kept the show on the road.
Nearly one year on we have recently had confirmation that the Shopping Centre is due to re-open on November 12th, 2020. Our plans to move back in have begun...
Check back for updates!
O'Connor's Pharmacy Team