It’s going to be a very different harbour in more ways than one for many Greystonians with the announcement today that Joe Sweeney is going to hang up his chipper apron for good.
With a family line going back over 200 years down at the Greystones seafront, the decision to retire was, it would appear, not taken lightly.
“This all began for me on an Easter weekend,” says Joe, “and it just feels right that I step away from the café on an Easter weekend too.
“I’m going to miss being here every single day, but, it’s always been hard work, and I’m just not getting any younger. Also, I’m feckin’ tired of chips, chips, chips…”
Looking particularly well for a man long past retirement age – Greystones, brace yourselves for that 90th bash – Joe Sweeney can be forgiven for needing a little quiet time after all these years of serving the town’s tired and hungry.
To mark this somewhat momentous day, Joe has a farewell special running for Easter Sunday only – buy one bag of fish & chips for the price of two, and get a second bag completely free. Hurry though – this generous offer ends tonight!
No doubt inspired by Bridie Mooney’s graceful handing-in of her badge on Christmas Eve 2015, Joe’s entire life can be mapped down at the harbour. Nonetheless, the man wants to devote the time he has left to his no.1 secret passion – interpretative dance.
The plan is, with nine months of uninterrupted choreography and rehearsal now ahead of him, Joe’s new one-man dance performance inspired by his trademark curry chips, entitled Fire In The Hole, will debut at The Whale next Christmas. It’s going to be emotional.
If you’re down by the seafront today, pop in and say goodbye. Just don’t go for a hug. Joe doesn’t do hugs.
You can explore this Greystones legend’s life and times in our archives here.
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