Rollercoaster’s had its ups and downs
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.”