Roller­coaster’s had its ups and downs

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News - By Lau­ren Mur­phy

Road Records may have closed its doors for good re­cently, but an­other Ir­ish in­die re­tailer had rea­son to make merry this week.

Wil­lie Meighan, co-owner of Kilkenny’s Roller­coaster Records, is cel­e­brat­ing 20 years be­hind the counter of the Mar­ble City’s fore­most in­de­pen­dent mu­sic out­let, where he be­gan work­ing as a 21-year-old in what was then known as Top Twenty.

In 2004, Meighan and Dar­ragh But­ler of Kerb­dog bought the premises from orig­i­nal owner Richard Forde and re­named it. Since then, the shop has played a piv­otal role in the city’s mu­si­cal growth, host­ing in-store per­for­mances, stock­ing lo­cal artists, and link­ing up with fes­ti­vals and venues in the city.

Meighan is aware that be­ing pas­sion­ate about mu­sic doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily stave off the pit­falls of a busi­ness that is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dig­i­tal-ori­ented.

“When other re­tail­ers talk to me about the re­ces­sion, I tell them we’ve been in re­ces­sion for years,” he jokes. “Sales and foot­fall have ob­vi­ously fallen in my time here, but we still have a lot of loyal cus­tomers.” As for the next 20 years, he’s cau­tiously op­ti­mistic. “The fu­ture in­volves less wages and more work, but if you’re in it for the money you might need to find an­other ca­reer.”

lmur­phy @ir­ish times .com

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