Over the Counter

This is a beautiful, photographic tribute to Cork's lost and rapidly disappearing retail heritage.There have been huge changes in Cork over the past century, entire buildings even streets have disappeared and a culture of personalised service and independent retailers has been replaced by shops and services stations that look the same no matter what town we are in.These photographs act as a document for those who feel a sense of sadness or regret when they see another old shop close and feel with that closing a lessening of traditions, heritage and culture. It is also a record of those that remain in business and thrive despite the comoditisation of trade.The photographs capture some of the remaining businesses, which represent a type of trade and attitude towards community and consumerism completely at odds with new trends in Ireland today. As many of the shop owners have said 'Change is inevitable, different generations have different demands' but perhaps these photos will stand as a record of a way of life that may not survive but will be fondly remembered. Our communities will be all the poorer for their passing.