Coburns, Banbridge – End of an Era

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It is with great sadness that Coburns Tackle Shop, Banbridge closed its doors for the final occasion on Friday 14 December 2018. In the 1950’s Coburns established a retail shop in Banbridge. Its proprietor the late Brian Coburn was an innovative business man and also a very keen game and sea angler. He was a member of Banbridge Angling Club holding the position of the Club’s Vice President and through his business he provided tremendous support to Banbridge Angling Club. Coburns has also been managed by some great and knowledgable local anglers notably the late Dominic Downey and William Cochrane. Throughout the decades Coburns has always been one of the great angling outlets throughout the island of Ireland. It was renowned for stocking the very latest and best game angling tackle and providing expert advice to all anglers from the novice to the more experienced angler. Coburns had a great reputation amongst anglers. It attracted anglers from across the island of Ireland and its was common to see numerous cars with Republic of Ireland registration plates in Coburns car park and to meet some of Ireland’s best game anglers in the shop talking ‘trout and salmon’ and purchasing the latest and best game fishing tackle. Basil Shields, Oughterard, Co Galway, Frankie McPhillips, Co Fermanagh and the late Peter O’Reilly, Co Meath were regular visitors to Coburns. There would be many fishing yarns and the latest fishing reports on the big loughs and rivers in the west of Ireland. Coburns has also been central to the many generations in Banbridge and the surrounding areas who have participated in angling. Many local anglers purchased their first angling tackle and obtained the necessary information and advice to get them started fishing in Coburns. It was also a great shop for local anglers to meet and talk ‘fishing’. Indeed a couple of local anglers went on to achieve great success by winning the ‘World Cup’ on Lough Mask and many of them also went on to fish for Ireland at international level. I understand that the Banbridge district has the most international anglers in comparision to any other district in the island of Ireland. Wherever you went Coburns and Banbridge were synonymous with game angling. Coburns has been a great supporter and friend of Banbridge Angling Club on so many levels. Coburns sold the fishing licences and its staff looked after the Club’s membership and day tickets. The Club would like to record its appreciation to Coburns and all its staff, particularly the late Brian Coburn, Bertie Bell, William Cartmill, the late Dominic Downey, and Coburns latest staff William Cochrane, Stephen McSherry and Roger Armstrong for retailing fishing tackle locally and for their support. Coburns will be greatly missed by Banbridge Angling Club and the angling fraternity in Banbridge.