I remember when John and I walked into Duggan Jewellers Ltd to speak with Damian about my project. I was blown away by his genuine interest and excitement for what I was doing. Naturally, when you start a project like this there are moments when you think, ‘Will people like this? Is this actually going to work??’. After speaking with Damian I felt as if all my worries just dissipated as we chatted. He is so proud of Fairview and the people in it. He loves his fellow shop keepers in the area and absolutely adores his customers that walk through his door.
Damian’s father was a watchmaker who had a business in the city center. Unfortunately, his store was robbed one day and he was badly beaten up during the robbery. His father moved his business and worked from home for a couple of years and then in 1980 took the store right next door to where Duggan Jewellers Ltd is at the moment. Damian followed in his father’s footsteps and studied as a watchmaker. He started working with his father and then took over the business in his early twenties. He rented the store for 21 years under the address next door and then decided to buy the shop that he is in today. So, on April Fool’s day, Damian packed up his shop and moved to his new store next door.
Like any small business, Duggan Jewellers has had its ups and downs and Damian has seen it all. The recession however brought more customers to the small businesses in Fairview including Duggan Jewellers Ltd - showing the true village nature of the people in the area. Damian believes one of the reasons his business is still going from strength to strength is because he has always worked very hard at maintaining a personal touch. He also knows that a business has to move with the times and taught himself how to market his business with the powers of social media and updating his web presence. I have to say, he really does have a natural flair for it!
Whilst we chatted in his store, he set up his jewellery in their perfect position. The Beatles played in the background and he spoke fondly of the many regulars that have been coming into him for many years. Many of his customers don’t just pop in for his services, they pop in for tea and a chinwag too. No matter how busy he his, Damian is always willing to spend that important time with his customers. There is a true sense that this man is not only passionate about his trade but equally passionate about making people feel important and happy.
In 1999, a young Italian student, Guido Nasi, was attacked in Fairview Park and left paraplegic after the assailants smashed a bottle over his head. Damian felt that Guido was not getting the support he deserved and decided to seek out sponsors from his local suppliers to raise funds for him. The locals of Fairview got involved and managed to raise a considerable fund for Guido. This then spurred many other people in Dublin to reach out and help him. This story is yet another testament to the beautiful community that is in Fairview and its surrounding areas and of course what an absolute gem Damian is!
Damian’s love of Fairview boils down to the incredible people he has met walking through his door and the long-lasting friendships he has made with them as well as the local store owners around him. In particular, is his friendship with Victor Edge from Edge Hardware who he drops in for tea and banter every morning.
I truly believe that some people are given a natural ability to warm the hearts of those around them. They genuinely love to talk to people and look after them. Damian is one of those people, a true gentleman!