Is This Ireland’s Oldest African Hairdressers & Mobile Phone Repair Shop?


IT’S a debate that may never be settled, just where is Ireland’s oldest shop that sells spices and foodstuffs for the Afro-celt, as well as under-the-counter imported cigarettes, hairdressing products and weaves, as well as offering 30 minute phone unlocking and iPhone screen repair service? It seems like every town you go to, there’s a store that claims to be ‘the oldest’. WWN goes on the search to see if we can put the debate to rest:

1) My Wig and 24hr massage, Dublin

Walking past the windows of this Dublin institution, it’s easy to see why they have such a strong claim for oldest in Ireland. The windows are lined with A4 pictures of African ladies in the finest of weaves, all of which are turning blue after exposure to the sun. Inside, we find row after row of unlocked pre-owned mobile phones, including some early iPhones which age the shop at around 8-9 years old. Going to be hard to beat that!

2) Phone Unlocking & Food, Kilkenny

Although we ourselves saw no food, we were assured by the staff that there was an upstairs bit, even if we couldn’t see any stairs. In a back office of the entirely wood-paneled shop, a young Chinese man was busy tinkering at a Samsung Galaxy with a smashed screen, while the nervous Chinese teenager at the counter looked warily at a mildly-threatening looking middle-aged Kilkenny man stab out his CV with one finger on one of the shops five available Dell desktop computers (printing 10c, colour €1.20). There were rows of Playstation and Xbox games, which we weren’t sure were for sale, in a glass shelf beside at least a hundred unsold fidget spinners. The oldest was Halo 3, incredibly suggesting the shops may actually be at least 10 years old.

3) (no sign), Waterford

Some of the racist graffiti outside this family-run business suggests that this Waterford shop might actually be the oldest of its kind in Ireland, with dated slurs pointing towards a business that has been systematically targeted by kids who are now fully grown, and possibly even customers of the shop which offers cracked iPhone screen repair for under a hundred euro, perfect for when you’ve dropped your phone when off your face in the park. It’s very possible that the shop is over a decade old, a remarkable achievement when you consider how little patience most business owners would have for being sneered at by passers-by every day, despite providing a valuable service to the mobile phone breaking/retro gaming/vaping/cup of coffee for a euro/Lyca mobile credit buying community.

Next week we go in search of a Sklep Polski that claims to have been in Ireland since 1996!