THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S Hospital will be brightened by the presence of a doll and teddy bear museum after the board’s chairman rallied to save one of Ireland’s favourite stores.
On Saturday, Ireland’s only doll hospital and teddy bear clinic closed its doors on Georges Street for the last time but The Dollstore now looks set for a reincarnation in the new hospital.
Owner Melissa Nolan had no intention of setting up shop again until she saw the response from the public.
“The whole thing snowballed since we announced we were closing,” she told TheJournal.ie today.
Hundreds of people visited the cosy Georges Street shop on Saturday with queues out the door for most of the day.
Absolutely everything was sold,” said Nolan. “We ran out of change, bags and, eventually, stock.”
Not only did The Dollstore have an unprecedented success during the weekend sale, it was also flooded with serious offers of alternative locations.
“We have had several offers of premises around the country so at the moment we are looking to see where is best suited to turn into a doll hospital and museum,” added Nolan.
Nolan, who has ran the store with her husband for the past 28 years, is keen to open a museum in the new space – wherever that will be.
“We’ve been collecting for more than 30 years and all of our cabinets and showcases are from the 1940s and museum-worthy,” she said. “I always had it in mind to open a museum but Georges Street was too small.”
Asked if there is now a definite plan to reopen in some guise, she said “Absolutely, and it will be in the very near future. Hopefully we will be able to announce something by the end of the week.”
Regardless of any new city centre location, Nolan said it will definitely be “a runner” to open something up in the new National Children’s Hospital when it is built.
“We would love to do that. Harry Crosbie, chairman of the hospital, contacted the store on news that it was shutting down. He said he could see a doll hospital and teddy bear clinic being set up within the new building.
“That will be something very special,” concluded Nolan.