Marron’s Pharmacy was established on Clane’s Main Street in 1957. It was not the first pharmacy in Clane. A pharmacy was located on the opposite side of the street approximately where Bracken’s solicitors is located today. Next to the pharmacy was Marron’s Grocery Shop (the family’s business). In the early 1950’s, that pharmacy burned down and it took Marron’s grocery shop with it.
Des’s father, Garda Sergeant Peter Marron (known locally as ‘The General’) asked Des what he intended to pursue in life. Des was undecided at this time so he suggested a career in pharmacy. Des enrolled in the School of Pharmacy, which was located on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin, in September 1954. He graduated from the School in May 1959.
The family needed to employ other pharmacists from 1957 until 1959 when Des qualified. A pharmacy is not allowed to be open without a pharmacist present. The profession of pharmacy is unique in this regard. As medicines are present, only a pharmacist is authorized to supervise their sale.
Family home on main street Clane, now the pharmacy
Pharmacy is built within the family home
Five pharmacists worked in Marron’s over these two years. There were a few interesting characters amongst them. In late 1957, a pharmacist from Limerick lasted only two days in the business. Clane of the 1950s was very quiet and socially, people had an interest in GAA or pubs or both but not much else. This pharmacist was not interested in either. Add to that the fact that if you had five customers per day, you had a busy day. This man found the days long and evenings longer. He was quite lonely so on his third day, he walked to Sallins and got the train back to Limerick.
The replacement of the Limerick pharmacist was from Westmeath and he lasted two weeks. Des’s mother, Brigid Marron, died at the age of 42 from chronic bronchitis caused by TB. The Westmeath pharmacist battled himself with TB and was afraid it was in the air so he thought it was time to leave for his own safety.
The next pharmacist to join the business was Kerryman William (Bill) Griffin. Bill was mad about GAA and enjoyed a pint. He loved Clane and really helped to grow the business over his six months stewardship. After leaving Clane, Bill set up pharmacies in Leixlip and Lucan. Interestingly, Jonathon completed his pharmacy internship in Bill’s Leixlip shop thanks to Bill’s son Dónál.
Des finally got his own teeth into the business following his graduation in May 1959. He has worked here seven days a week since then. The business is only closed on Christmas Day and even then, we have been happy to open up for people in need. Over these 60 years, the business has expanded and evolved with the changing profession of pharmacy. Minor and major reforms have occurred in our 60 years of trading but our most recent change occurred in 2017 to mark those 60years. Our current pharmacy setup emphasis our standing as an award winning and leading pharmacy for patient services in Ireland.
Marron’s has always been known as the family pharmacy and this is something we pride ourselves on. Family pharmacy really means family in our business and seven employees are family. Des stills owns the business with his daughters Máire and Edel the retail managers and his grandson, Jonathon the Superintendent and Supervising Pharmacist.
Read more about our staff HERE.
The pharmacy shop front in 1958