Dublin’s most well-known cafe has paid a touching tribute to its most loyal buyer to mark his ninetieth birthday.
ewley’s of Grafton Road honoured record-breaking Denis Shields, an unbelievable 59 years after he ordered his first espresso in 1962.
Bewley’s estimate that since then, he has loved greater than 30,000 cups and tucked into numerous cherry buns on his day by day visits.
An emotional Mr Shields, initially from a big farming household in Banagher, Co Offaly, mentioned: “This appears like a stroll by way of historical past, a second that may dwell with me till I’m going to the grave.
“The recollections are highly effective. I’ve met so many good mates right here.”
On Saturday, greater than three generations of the Shields household shared a Bewley’s birthday cake – served by three generations of the Campbell household, Paddy, son Col and grandson Felix, in Grafton Road.
The teetotaller’s relationship with Bewley’s started in 1962 – the identical 12 months the Cuban missile disaster positioned the world on the point of nuclear battle, The Beatles launched their first single and Marilyn Monroe was discovered useless at 36.
Mr Shields moved to the capital after securing a job within the bedding division of Clerys, strolling to Bewley’s in Westmoreland Road for day by day espresso earlier than making the Grafton Road cafe his second residence.
His ardour for dialog and human interplay would see him proceed the identical custom for the following six a long time.
“It began on the primary morning I used to be on the town. I went into Westmoreland Road at 7.30am,” he mentioned.
“I all the time spoke to folks, I all the time mentioned ‘good morning’ or ‘good luck’, some would speak to you and others would not reply.
“I beloved a latte and typically I might take a bun with it. The workers would see me coming and so they’d be getting it prepared.
“I had a good time there, I beloved it. Folks now are in such a horrible rush, hurrying and doing issues and going locations.
“However Bewley’s is a marvellous place, it’s the place the generations intersect and its requirements have by no means dropped.
“It has an environment which is second to none and the workers and the Campbell household all the time acquired on so properly collectively.
“I acquired to know Paddy Campbell in a short time as a result of he would sit down and speak to me as if I had been a director of the agency.”
And whereas the cafe supplied him with a sanctuary day by day of his working life, it was additionally in his prayers – he lit candles and prayed for the workers when it closed for main renovations in 2015 – and was first by way of the doorways when it re-opened in November 2017.
GAA-fanatic Mr Shields saved up his day by day journeys to his favorite hang-out till not too long ago, when he moved right into a south-Dublin nursing residence. Nonetheless, six a long time of fond recollections maintain him.
“It is fairly extraordinary that he is been coming right here for nearly 60 years, just about day by day, and he’s nice firm, an ideal character,” mentioned Paddy Campbell.
“Bewley’s belongs to everybody, the children, infants, older folks, we settle for everybody who is available in.
“The one cause it would survive shall be due to its clients. It is the regulars who will hold the place in Grafton Road and Denis is a superb instance of an individual who is aware of and treasures the cafe.
“He simply saved coming again to us and it is due to folks like him that we’ll be right here for a few years to return.”
In 1990, after virtually three a long time of customized, Paddy requested a buddy to finish a bronze sculpture of Denis – which continues to be proudly displayed at its Grafton Road premises.