Co-owner of Minihane’s Supervalu Gort, Fiona O’Driscoll, recognises the local Gort community as really strong and that since pushing through a number of adversities such as the recession, flooding, the bypass and now Covid-19, Gort, as a town, supports a simple and wholesome lifestyle.
Working with the Burren Lowlands for the past seven years, Fiona feels that the local Gort Motto of ‘A better place to visit, live and work’, really shines through into everyday life.
Gort Supervalu and the surrounding businesses act as a communal, one-stop shop where consumers can avail of hairdressers, a health shop, newspaper station, a bookshop, a beautician and a dentist all found within the shopping centre. Fiona labels Gort Supervalu as a ‘community shop’ and says that neighbouring businesses all maintain an excellent professional relationship with one another.
On the fluidity of the county boundary, Fiona states, “Although we have a Galway address here in the town of Gort, we are very aware that North Clare is part of us. Tubber, Boston, Ruan, all those areas. We would provide a hub for these villages. People out in Corofin too. We have been through a lot here. I have been here in business for 14 years.”
“Between the bypass, the recession, the flooding, the whole lot, we are still here. It’s a feisty little town because it had to be. When you’ve had that much thrown at you. The second bypass, from Gort to Tuam, has been much more beneficial. The first, with the Limerick to Galway, that was tough. We went from a town that was choked and awful, but busy, to being deathly quiet for a couple of years. Now with our domestic and international tourism, being near the coast and having the Burren here too, we are very busy,” Fiona adds.
Fiona urges all locals to support locally within the community over the 6-week lockdown and into the busy Christmas period. “If locals don’t kick in, small towns like Gort, won’t survive. We have some really good restaurants here and they are all doing take away from Thursday to Sunday. We decided that we are going to support a different one every weekend. A lot of people are doing that. They are all getting inventive, we are lucky to even be open,” Fiona leaves with.