Anne McLaughlin Opticians changes hands

By Diarmaid Doherty

Anne McLaughlin says she takes real pride in the fact that she has built up such a strong and special relationship with so many of her patients during her 31 years practicing as an optician in Letterkenny.

And as she hands over her business to new owners, Anne is happy to confirm that the changes will not impact on her patients who will receive the same care and attention that they could always count on over many years.


The business is being taken over by Curtis Opticians from Derry and while Anne is taking a step back from her duties, she will retain a strong presence in the opticians during this transition.

“I am really happy that it is Curtis Opticians who have come in to take the practice forward and to look after all the loyal patients,” Anne said.

“Curtis Opticians are a well established family run practice who have been in business for over 95 years and that was why I was so happy to go with them.

“We have a wonderful practice here and we have a lovely patient base. I am very happy for our patients that it’s the Curtis family that we are handing over to.”

From left are Ian and Paul Curtis, Carol Cullen, Anne McLaughlin, Barry Doherty and Pauric Ryan. Pics: Brian McDaid

For Anne, the change in ownership will eventually lead to her stepping away from a practice which she has successfully run since first opening on Upr Main Street in November 1992.

A daughter of Paddy and Eithne McLaughlin from College Farm Road in Letterkenny, Anne studied optometry at Kevin’s Street in Dublin. Her course choice was prompted by the fact that a family relation had a successful career as an ophthalmologist – an eye doctor. After college, Anne spent a short time traveling and worked in Dublin and Derry, before she opened Anne McLaughlin Opticians in Letterkenny.


Looking back now, she realises it was a brave decision to go into business, and her big challenge in the early years was to build up a patient base.

Anne McLaughlin Opticians on Letterkenny’s Port Road.

In 2000, she moved from Upr. Main Street to Port Road and she was joined in the practice by her husband Pauric Ryan who worked as the practice’s glazer.

Along with the front of house staff, Carol Cullen and Theresa McKeever, it was a very close knit team.

“It’s always been such a lovely place to work, and over the years, our patients have been so loyal,” Anne said.

“We have found that the sons and daughters, and in many cases the grandchildren of those patients are now also coming to us.

Pauric Ryan takes time to give his glasses a quick clean

“With the business now changing hands, you look at the relationships with patients that have built up over many years. You want to have someone that is going to look after them and to take a personal interest in them, and I have no doubt that the Curtis family will do that.”

While both Pauric and Theresa have decided to retire, Carol will remain on as part of the staff.

Curtis Opticians are a multi award winning family-owned optical business established in 1928 in Derry.

Anne McLaughlin and Pauric Ryan

Started by Harold P Curtis, over 95 years ago it was continued by his three sons Derek, Harold, and Noel. Over the past 25 years it has been run by his grandsons, Derek’s sons, Paul and Ian Curtis.

“We have always known of the great reputation Anne, Pauric and their team have built up over the last 25 years and fully intend to keep all their current and new customers as happy and satisfied as they have,” Ian said.

“Donegal is a county close to our hearts and we have many connections here as we and our parents have been spending holidays there for over 50 years.

“So Letterkenny has always been on our horizon as a place to work and get involved in the community as we do in Derry.”

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland