CUTTING EDGE Ballinrobe-based barber David ‘Roundy’ Geraghty.
Name: David ‘Roundy’ Geraghty
Occupation: Barber; owner of Legends and David Simon barber shops in Ballinrobe.
When we first opened up the barber shop after lockdown, we couldn’t keep it done. People had either let their hair grow long or we were fixing up haircuts. For the first two or three weeks we were really busy, but for the last couple of weeks barber shops are down about 40 percent.
I’ve talked to a few friends of mine who are barbers and in the past while and they’ve had to let staff go. People aren’t going to parties or weddings at the moment, so they’re not getting their hair cut. So it is a lot quieter now than it was. The footballers are keeping us going for the last two or three weekends. If it wasn’t for championship football we’d be a lot quieter.
The new shop is good and busy, but barbershops definitely aren’t as busy as they were this time last year or the year before. But it will pick up again because once people get back to school and going places again it will pick up again.
We take the Covid-19 regulations very seriously in the shop. We have special sprays for sanitising the chairs. After every haircut it takes at least five to seven minutes to spray everything down and clean all the tools before the next person comes in.
I think it’s a great thing for barbershops, because pre-Covid things were very relaxed. Everywhere you went people only half-cleaned stuff, which wasn’t good enough anyways. I actually think it’s a lot better because you know you have to sterilise the equipment. I think it’s a good wake-up call for everyone with regards to cleaning everything and being clean.
Wearing the masks is tough, particularly for me because I’ve a big beard, but it is what it is.
At the start there was a bit of anxiety because we were in such close contact with people, but everyone is different. Some people are anxious and other people are very relaxed. Personally I’d be very cautious but at the same time I’m relaxed. We have to get used to it.
The new shop is a bit more upmarket, as you book your appointment and you pay a little bit extra. I find with the new shop a lot of the older lads come in because they can go straight into the door to the chair and they’re not meeting four or five people and queuing for half an hour. I found initially that a lot of the elderly were staying away from walk-in shops but they’re quite comfortable to book an appointment and rock in and get their hair cut.
I’ve opened the new barbershop last week. The last few weeks were busy getting it kitted out. It’s a risk to take with the way things are at the moment, but I felt it was something different for Ballinrobe. It’s very relaxed. You book a 40-minute slot, you go to your chair when you get in and there’s no waiting around.
Most people that come in are just talking about wanting to get back to normal. Most lads want to get the pubs open, but people are still a bit cautious at the same time. It’s a funny vibe at the moment because you just talk about more simple things, as there’s nothing really to talk about. It’s strange not going on about Mayo or something like that. The club football has been great as it’s been something to talk about and to look forward to.
I personally loved the lockdown. I switched off from the rat race, and I was at home with my wife and my mother and we became a team. The main focus for the day was to do a few jobs in the garden and have a big dinner. It was just different. I used to have a nice cold bottle of beer from the fridge every evening. The sun was out and life was good.
My brother breeds horses, so we’re heavily involved in the horse racing. I’m kind of the brains of the operation! He’s based in Tipperary and I do call twice a day just to see how things are. I’ve my own racehorse, but he’s not as good.
I’m still playing football. It’s good to be back playing because it looked like there wasn’t going to be football for a while, which was tough for players. I love it. I’m coming on 37 now so every year is a bonus. I’m definitely enjoying being back kicking ball and there are a great bunch of lads on the team.
Would you believe it, we’ve a Junior team and a Junior B team who train separate because we’ve the guts of 60 people – good going for a small area that could barely get 20 together for our first team a few years ago. There’s lots of lads around now that are working from home that are actually playing ball now. That’s good because there’s lots of lads and lots of old mates.
It’s probably the year that we should let Kilmaine win the Junior; they can’t represent Mayo in Connacht, they can’t celebrate in the pub afterwards and if they do we can ring the guards!
In conversation with Oisín McGovern
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
I would breed racehorses full-time.
Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?
I sometimes write poetry.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
What makes you angry?
Farmers that won’t pull in when they see an opportunity.
Your first hero?
Haha! Georgi Hristov (Barnsley striker).
Name three things that are always in your fridge?
Beer, cheese, unsweetened almond milk.
What makes you nervous?
Now, it’s people who cough.
Most famous person you’ve met?
Sting – he wanted to guess my occupation! He said ‘Are you a male model?’. That’s 100 percent true.
What do you miss most about being a kid?
Going to Teresa Tierneys for penny sweets -100 penny sweets for £1 pound.
What’s your most prized possession?
My long hair and beard! Bad advertisement for a barber I guess.
Favourite TV show?
Best advice you ever got?
Tell no one anything, great advice which I struggle with.
Describe yourself in three words?
Caring, kind and brave.
How do you unwind?
An ice cold beer listening to my wife play Chopin on the piano.