After 12 years of trading and winning more than 180 awards, Ballykelly butcher Gregory McGlinchey has pulled down the shutters on his business.
Citing “personal reasons” as being responsible for the closure, the well-known businessman said closing the business on the village’s Main Street and laying off three hard working staff was “sickening”.
Despite the recession, Mr. McGlinchey said he could have “battered on”, but recent personal developments left him with no other option.
“I am sickened.
“It was a very hard decision to have to make. Closing was one of the worst things I have ever had to do in my life,” he said, explaining his last day of trading was the last Saturday in January.
During his time in business in Ballykelly, Mr. McGlinchey won hundreds of prestigious awards for his skills, including champion sausage maker.
“I’m very sick about it all. It’s like a death in the family.
“I even had customers coming in on the Saturday crying. There are so many good people that supported me and I want to say thank you to all of them.”
He added: “The recesssion didn’t help, I could have battered on but, for personal reasons, I just couldn’t afford to keep going.
“From the bottom of my heart I want to thank everyone. You never know, I might be back.”
SDLP Councillor Michael Carten lives in the Ballykelly area.
“This was an award-winning, established business and I am very sad to see it close,” he said.
“This will be a great loss to the community and I am just sorry it had to come to this. Like everyone else, I’m sure, I wish Gregory all the best in the future.”