James Joseph Grant, MPSI – the original Pharmacist owner of Grant’s Pharmacy, St. Aidan’s Shopping Centre, Wexford. Joe Grant sadly passed away in September 1995. His generous spirit is still evident in the memories of our Wexford customers.
Joe Grant, son of a Kilkenny G.P., left Ireland at the tender age of 16 after completing his Leaving Cert. He spent 6 weeks on a passenger ferry to Australia where he worked hard on a demanding sheep farm. His desire for learning never left him and it was on the news that his older brother had entered UCD for medicine that inspired Joe to seek further education. This search brought him to New Zealand where he attended the University of Otago. He found shelter in a Vincent de Paul house where he volunteered his time in exchange for lodgings.
After graduating with a degree in Pharmacy, Joe went on to buy his own shop in Dunedin, NZ and married an Irish lady, Bernie Close and together they had 5 children. Fast forward 10 years, and Joe was opening his own shop in St. Aidan’s Shopping Centre, Wexford after a huge decision was made to move lock stock and family back to Ireland to be close to their respective families. Joe made a lasting impression on the local community, many of whom remember him as a generous, kind-hearted Pharmacist. It is said he was a terribly bad businessman due to his desire to help the poorer patients. Joe would often visit his sick customers after work before heading home to his noisy household.
All 5 children attended local Wexford schools and were members of many sporting clubs through their years growing up. Unfortunately, Joe was struck with a devastating stroke in 1987, which left him with no speech, restricted movement and incapable of work. Bernie his wife, was left with a sick husband, five kids aged 9 to 16, and a busy pharmacy shop to manage. She had no choice but to take over the reins and educate herself in the running of the pharmacy. It was 12 long years before their fourth child Leonie, would finish her pharmacy degree in Trinity College, Dublin and Bernie would have a family member again to assist her in running the family business. During that 12 years, Joe sadly passed away 7 years after suffering his stroke. He was the founding member of Grant’s Pharmacy (now numbering 4 shops) and his memory will be forever etched in his family’s minds and the minds of the local community in St Aidan’s. May he Rest in Peace.