Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Keeping it in the Family: Kinsella Medical Hall has been serving the community for the last 120 years

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1. When was the business established  and were any previous generations involved ?
The business was established 120 years ago, in 1901 by Martin Murphy’s late Grandfather, Dr. John Jerome Kinsella. He bought what was then Bars Hotel and started the pharmacy, where he worked and lived. Martin’s Aunt Francis, known to many as Ms. Kinsella, or Frankie took over the shop in the early 50’s where she worked until Martin took it over in the 80s.

Martin at the original premises circa. 1986.

2. Did the family live in Edenderry for many years / where did they come from?
Martin’s grandfather came from Cloneygowan and he first met Martin’s Grandmother when as a young nurse she was going to take up a position in the new Cottage hospital Edenderry and he collected her from the train station in Edenderry.

3. Who are the family members working in the business now?
Martin and his daughter Lauren. Martin’s wife Caroline owns the very successful beauty salon,  Elegant Lady, upstairs at Kinsella’s Medical Hall.

4. What does the business do?
Kinsella’s Medical Hall is a family owned pharmacy with a health and well being section, a cosmetics section, a gift section, a beauty salon and a fuji imaging centre.

5.  How has it changed over the years ?
The location has changed by a few hundred metres and the pharmacy no longer do veterinary products as this has since been regularised by the Dept of Agriculture. The shop has trebled in size, with the demolishing of the original building in 2012 to a new purpose built building now. Kinsella’s also have a robotic dispensing machine which may sound a bit sci-fi but is the latest up to date technology for dispensing products, stock taking and offers a strict level of security in the control of drugs.

While it may appear to some that “the machine” as it is affectionately known as, hampers the distribution of products, Martin clarifies that they do not dispense a single tablet or medicine without first professionally verifying each prescription with the doctors or hospitals who has provided the prescription, as human error on their behalf often occurs but Kinsella’s professional level of service has a policy to verify all drug interactions (i.e. ensuring a newly prescribed drug does not interact with other drugs a patient may be taking). Martin explained that Kinsella’s have gone from having a wooden box as a till when he got involved in the business 40 years ago, to having 6 computerised tills now.

Pages from the pharmacy ledger dated 1901.

6. Plans for the future?
Martin commented that while many pharmacies link themselves to pharmacy chains, he would like Kinsella’s to  remain in the family as an independent pharmacy as there is much more flexibility in the services and products they can provide by continuing to be independent.

7. Any memorable moments through the years?
This question brought a laugh to the conversation as Martin remembered several hilarious incidents through the years. One particular memory he has was a bullock wandering into the shop during a fair day many years ago in his Aunt Frankie’s time. Luckily no damage was done but he said it felt as if time went in slow motion as they all watched the bullock wander in and around the shop, afraid to go near it, until it’s owner, a local farmer came to retrieve the animal!

8. In what way do you think your family business adds something special to Edenderry?
Martin is 100% sure that his local family business offers a personal service second to none, and that customers appreciate that comfort and level of respect and loyalty they receive when they shop in Kinsella’s Medical Hall. He is a firm believer in contributing to the welfare of the town and we do our best to support charity events and give back to the community as much as we can.

9. Pros and Cons of working with family in a business?
Always a question that gives a smile, Martin is happy that he works with his daughter Lauren (pharmacist) and enjoys the fact that his wife Caroline works just upstairs from him, running her very successful five time Crown Award winning salon, Elegant Lady.

10. The Last Word …
Martin would like to mention his heartfelt thanks to their loyal customers who continue to support them to this day. Also to the loyal staff, many of whom have been with them for over 20 years now and a mention to Dara (pharmacist) and the other staff members who have recently joined. The hard work and loyalty of the entire team is very much appreciated and means a lot and they are very much part of the successful journey as a business and continuing as a family business as Kinsella’s Medical Hall. Martin would like them to know their hard work and loyalty means a lot and that they are very much part of the Kinsella Medical Hall success story.

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