Clerys was a long-established department store on O'Connell Street in Dublin, Ireland, a focal point of the street. The business dates from 1853, however the current building dates from 1922, having been completely destroyed in the 1916 Easter Rising. Clerys completed a five-year restoration programme in 2004 at a cost of €24 million. A renovation project is in place to bring the building back to its former glory including a new proposed rooftop destination.[1]

Private company
GenreDepartment Store
FoundedMay 1853
FounderMichael J. Clery
Defunct12 June 2015
HeadquartersDublin, Ireland
Key people
Dominic Prendergast
Simon Smith
ProductsQuality & luxury goods
Revenue€21.9 million (2011)
OwnerGordon Brothers Europe
Number of employees
Footnotes / references is the website for the Clerys building, but no longer Clerys as a store itself.

The group also included three "At Home With Clerys" homewares stores in out-of-town retail parks at Blanchardstown, Leopardstown and Naas; and the discount department store Guineys (not connected to the Michael Guiney chain) on Talbot Street; all of which closed during the 2012 receivership. [2] There had formerly been a fashion-only outlet in The Square, Tallaght but this had already closed by the time of the receivership. [3]


The history of Clerys began in May 1853 when Mac Swiney, Delany and Co. opened ‘The New or Palatial Mart' on the site of the present store in what was then Sackville Street. In 1883, the premises was taken over and renamed by M. J. Clery (d. 1896), a native of Bulgaden, Co. Limerick.[4] William Martin Murphy was also involved in the business.

Clerys was bought out of receivership in 1941 by Denis Guiney (1893-1967)[5] for £250,000. The receivers were Craig Gardner & Co. Denis Guiney died in 1967 and his widow (née Mary Leahy), continued to be Chairperson until her death on 23 August 2004 at the age of 103 years.[6]

Clerys was placed into receivership on 17 September 2012. Receivers Paul McCann and Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton said the store’s future could be secured.[7]


Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson[8] were appointed joint provisional liquidators to OSC Operations Limited (the "Company") trading as Clerys, on 12 June 2015. The company ceased to trade with immediate effect. [9]

Staff were given 30 minutes notice to pack up and leave, some had worked there for over 40 years. Clerys sold for €1.00, the building itself sold for €29 million to the Natrium Investment Group.[citation needed]

Clerys ClockEdit

A large clock with two faces hangs above Clerys' central doors on O'Connell Street (opposite the statue of Jim Larkin). "Under Clerys' clock" is a well-known rendez-vous, both for Dubliners, and visitors from the countryside,[10] and is famous in the city's culture as a place where many romances begin.[11] 1990, on the fiftieth anniversary of Denis Guiney taking over the store, a new clock was installed.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kierans, John Patrick (30 July 2016). "Clerys building set to become rooftop dining destination".
  2. ^ Barry, Aoife (2 October 2012). "Guineys and Clerys staff hold protest over store closures". Journal Media.
  3. ^ Murphy, David (15 November 2001). "Clerys' new look overseen by a retail centenarian". The Irish Times.
  4. ^ Aoife Reilly (1997), "CLEARY'S GRAND OPENING SALE 1940 'CHRISTMAS STOCKS AT BARGAIN PRICES'" "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ P. Costello (2008) Denis Guiney (UCD)
  6. ^ Sunday Tribune obituary Archived 7 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Clerys put into receivership". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Protest over Clerys sudden closure under way". RTÉ. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  10. ^ Mac Domhnaill, Dáibhí (Winter 2005), "Renewing the High Street" (PDF), Landscape Ireland: Nuachtlitir Oifigiúil Institiúid Ailitirí Tírdhreacha na hÉireann: 12, archived from the original (PDF) on 24 April 2009, retrieved 6 April 2010
  11. ^ "Under Clery's Clock" is also a 1989 song by The Radiators
  12. ^ Reilly, Aoife (1997), Clery's Grand Opening Sale 1940 "Christmas Stocks at Bargain Prices",, archived from the original on 18 July 2011

Further readingEdit

  • Costello, Peter. (1992). The very heart of the city: The story of Denis Guiney and Clerys, Clery and Co.