Cutting your cloth to suit


GETTING A TRIM David ‘Roundy’ Geraghty cutting Mark O’Malley’s hair in his barber’s in Ballinrobe on Saturday.

Ger Flanagan

NEARLY 19km, or 26,000 steps, is what colourful barber David ‘Roundy’ Geraghty covered during his working day last Friday as people flocked for haircuts when barbers across the country opened their doors once again.
Roundy, owner of Legends and David Simon Barbers in Ballinrobe, has said the first week back has been a shock to the system having been off work due to the Level 5 Lockdown for the past number of weeks, but they’ve enjoyed it.
“It’s been tough,” the 36 year-old told The Mayo News. “We’re going from literally zero for the past six weeks, most of us were just hanging around the house and chilling, to straight back to being busier than ever for the Christmas rush.
“It’s been a shock to the system. You go home in the evening and you’re literally shot. You’re constantly going the whole day without any breaks, but I think everyone expects some sort of lockdown again in January so we don’t mind putting the heads down now and getting stuck in until Christmas.”
Roundy and his staff are well used to busy Decembers anyway, with it traditionally being a hectic month for businesses before the quieter period of trade come January and February.
He’s currently operating from an appointment only basis in his Legends shop, while the David Simon shop are taking walk-ins.
He admitted that emerging from this lockdown has been busier and more difficult for him and his staff, not from the volumes of people coming through the door, but from their own personal safety point of view which is often forgotten.
“It’s a lot busier this time around,” he said. “It’s tougher on the staff too, because we’ve all been used to being safe from the coronavirus at home, but with our job here being in the town, you’re a sitting duck really.
“There’s two women working here now in the David Simon shop and they have kids, so it’s not easy, especially when there is a queue out the door of people wanting to come in.
“And from my own perspective, my wife is pregnant, so you know, the last lockdown I might have been telling people to take off the mask if they wanted, but now I’m watching it much more and being way more cautious.”
And it’s not just the number of people that pose problems to Roundy and his staff, as well as other barber shops around the county too. He admitted that some customers show little awareness to the challenges and pressures they are facing and are only conscious of their own needs.
“People don’t care,” he laughed. “People really are an education.
“There’s one lad that the last time he came he just walked in the door and I told him anymore you’re going to have to book an appointment, and he landed down the last day and just said ‘Come here, you’ll cut me’.
“I said, ‘Jeez, it’s appointment only and I’m booked out’. Then he said to book him in Friday but I said that was booked out and it would be next week, and he just drove off without saying good or anything, even though he was all buddies when he first walked in.”
The run in for Christmas now is chock-o-block for the two shops, busier than ever experienced.
They plan to keeping cutting right up to Christmas Eve before taking the following week off to give his staff some rest before the New Year. Without any major New Year celebrations, they’ll enjoy the downtime for the first time ever.
“Our plan now is to get to Christmas Eve,” he said. “After that we’ll sit down and say look, we’re going to close to give everyone a rest for seven or eight days before early January.
“That will be unusual for us, but we’re thinking with no New Years parties or any of that, we’ll be able to do it.
“And especially with the fact that people are scared that we’re going to be closed again after January at some stage so we’re preparing for that.”