Sunday, 8 May 2011

Ireland Is B***ixed!

'Ireland is b***ixed' says hairdresser to the stars Marshall as iconic salon shuts...

Iconic Dublin hair stylist David Marshall, has shut his flagship salon on Dawson Street after 30 years.

The salon, which opened in 1981, closed for business after struggling with high overheads.

Mr Marshall blamed the salon's closure on the pressures of high rents and overheads at a time when business was retracting.

"It's an awful lot of pressure on small businesses," he said. "You are going to see a lot more closures over the next couple of years."

Mr Marshall, one of Ireland's most famous stylists, is now focussing on the David Marshall Academy and School, where he will still be on hand to tend the locks of his long-standing clients.

He continued: "It's a sad day but the whole country is b***ixed," he said. "In my mind there is no give for small businesses anymore."

He said there will be some job "casualties" when the business is wound up but he hoped not too many.

Mr Marshall plans to develop the Academy on Dublin's South Great Georges Street in the coming years. As well as being a training academy, he said "we will cater for any clients that we can here."

The flamboyant hairdresser, who drives a Harley-Davidson, was Ireland's original celebrity hairdresser. He left school in Mohill, Co Leitrim, after doing his 'Inter certificate' and started work as a £3 a week apprentice with the London hairdresser Vidal Sassoon in the late 1960s. He returned to Dublin and opened his first salon on Fade Street in 1974. He went on to open his flagship Dawson Street salon and the David Marshall Academy and School followed.

He and his then wife Jackie Rafter featured in the social pages almost as much as his celebrity clients, who have included Bono and his wife Ali Hewson.

"When we started out in 1974 on Fade Street, there was a serious recession and again in the 1980s. We managed that and we'll manage this one, hopefully, collectively," he said.

The salon is the latest high profile business to close on Dawson Street. Earlier this year, Waterstones shut its flagship book store on the street. Other casualties of high rents and declining sales in the Grafton Street area have been West Jewellers and Hughes & Hughes bookshop.

Carluccios restaurant on the corner of Dawson Street and Duke Street famously shut down for a week last year after failing to secure a rent reduction. It later re-opened when the landlords agreed to drop the rent.

Another Dublin institution, the Bad Ass Cafe, the first 'trendy restaurant' to open in Temple Bar before the area was designated a cultural centre also closed recently. The informal diner opened in 1983 in Temple Bar and over the years has fed U2, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Young and Westlife.

Meanwhile, one of Dublin's best known art galleries, the Oriel Gallery, on Clare Street, is expected to be put in the hands of a liquidator at a creditors meeting later this month.

The gallery has been in business since 1968, when it was opened by well-known art dealer, the late Oliver Nulty.

Another casualty in recent days has been the well-known south Dublin car dealer Maxwell Motors in Blackrock, Co Dublin, according to documents filed in the companies office by receiver Michael McAteer of Grant Thorton.

Report by MAEVE SHEEHAN - Sunday Independent

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