THE owner of the well-known Dundalk pharmacy Leavy’s is “over the moon” that his missing Santa decoration has been returned following an appeal.
Dermot Leavy of Leavy’s pharmacy on Clanbrassil Street is the proud owner of Dundalk’s first electrical Santa.
“It was made in Germany and purchased by my grandfather in the 1930s. It’s over 80 years old so a lot of people have special memories of this Santa,” said Dermot.
“When my grandfather died it was passed onto my father who took care of it over the years and then it was passed on to me.
“It went missing in January 2015 when we were getting some extensive building work done. We had things packed up in boxes to be removed while the work took place.”
Dermot added: “Santa must have been packed up too and put in a box and removed. We didn’t notice he was missing until five days later.
“I didn’t do anything about it at the time but the following year I launched a campaign to get Santa back.
“I put a notice up in the store window seeking information on his whereabouts. I never believed he had gone to landfill.”
He continued: “I knew that if someone opened a box and found him that they would keep him.
“It wasn’t until earlier this year that we got word of a possible sighting. I wanted proof so I asked for photographs.
“I wasn’t interested in seeing photographs of Santa in a white, plain background or in the window as I had those photographs already.”
Dermot said that two photographs of the electrical Santa were sent to his phone and he knew instantly it was his beloved missing Santa.
The Santa was finally returned home to Dermot at Leavy’s Pharmacy on Saturday, February 18.
“We are thrilled he is finally back with us. He was in box that said do not throw out and it had a letter written to my father from a Mrs O’Neill in Ravensdale detailing her childhood memories of Santa,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the letter back. We will have him on display in Leavy’s window until the end of the week,” he said.
“He has had an MOT by a technician who has rewired him. I feel a great sense of responsibility because my grandfather bought him and my Dad looked after him.
“He went missing on my watch. He’s spanning generations in Dundalk. He will be back on display in November 2023, just before Thanksgiving.”