Paddy Buckley of FX Buckley – 45 years on Moore Street
This year is Paddy Buckley’s 45th consecutive year working in the family business; F.X. Buckley’s, one of the famous names of Moore Street and of Dublin generally.
He served a brief apprenticeship in the family’s former premises on Chatham Street before following his father north of the river to their Moore Street branch in 1972.
Paddy’s father had been working there since 1930, a time when according to Paddy’s own research there were more than 20 butcher’s shops along the street. During this era live cattle would have been driven into the city from the Cattle Market near Stoneybatter and slaughtered in abattoirs in the streets and lanes off Moore Street before being displayed in one of the many butchers shops on the street.
Later during the 1940’s when war waged across Europe, Buckley’s and Moore Street in general became a focal point in a time of rationing. Irish people sent hampers of meat to relatives in Britain, while British visitors arrived into Dublin port to stock up on fresh meat back to cities like Liverpool and Manchester.
The street has certainly changed over time. Buckley’s is now one of only two butchers still trading on the street. However, that certainly doesn’t mean they haven’t stayed busy. Today the range of products sold in Buckley’s has grown significantly as their clientele’s tastes have developed and changed. While there are still plenty of those customers who have been doing their shopping in F.X. Buckley for generations there are newer arrivals to the city who come looking for a taste of home at Paddy’s meat counter.
While still using all Irish products the butcher’s shop has specialised in new products from other parts of Europe, Asia or Africa. Paddy asserts that the shop has a worldwide reputation and has customers being recommended by friends now living in places as disparate as Vietnam or the Philippines. Buckley’s claim to have the greatest range of meats in the country, stocking everything from venison and seasonal game to more specialist products like their famous, award winning spiced beef. Asked what they’re most famous for Paddy says probably their award winning sausages, which remain one of their biggest sellers.
Paddy still has high hopes for the future of the area, he enjoys doing his own shopping in Dublin One, saving special praise for the range of offer available along Henry Street, especially in stores like Arnotts and Debenhams. He’s passionate about the future of Moore Street and believes that more can be done to grow the age-old tradition of the Moore Street market which he feels should be made more attractive to new stallholders. Similarly he wonders if more could be done to encourage store owners to live above their premises as was common along Moore Street in times gone by.
Paddy of course isn’t working along in the shop, he has a dedicated and highly trained team around him, while includes the next generation of Buckley’s like his son Shane. As you walk down Moore Street you’ll spot the elaborate “bull’s head” mosaic in front of the store, or you might see the familiar neon glow of the shop’s motto “Meat par excellence” lighting up their window. For Paddy and the team that’s not just a slogan, it’s a way of life.