The Belfield pharmacy will remain vacant until the end of the academic year after being closed during the mid-term break. Three potential new tenants have recently pulled out for personal and professional reasons after the venture was closed by owner Sean Foley due to a lack of business from the students of UCD.
According to Student Centre Manager Dominic O’Keeffe, the pharmacy will be reopened under new ownership by September. O’Keeffe is optimistic that a new owner can be found over the summer period, and there is a strong will to have the pharmacy reopen as well as “re-energised” by September.
While dozens of pharmacies have been forced to close across the country since cutbacks in payments from the HSE to pharmacists for community drugs schemes, O’Keeffe has attributed the Belfield closure to the interests of its owner, who “made a particular decision to leave” at this time. It is thought that Foley’s decision is prompted by an interest in selling a self-developed dermatology product in the American marketplace, as well as a wish to concentrate on his businesses in the city centre.
The pharmacy is seen by O’Keeffe as “a livelihood, a lifestyle” rather than a high street pharmacy with a consistent year-round trade, said to be one of the attractions for potential new tenants.
The securing of a tenant in the pharmacy is being aided by United Drug, with contact also being made with the Irish Pharmaceutical Union in the hope of meeting new pharmacists wishing to take on the business.
The ongoing presence of a pharmacy on campus is seen as vital given the construction of the new 4,500 square foot medical centre within the new Student Centre. The pharmacy outlet will relocate when the centre is completed, in an effort to gain more business from students, as well as making the business a more attractive prospect to traders interested in the tenancy.