Extracts from ISAAC WELD 1832 Survey of county Roscommon ref . The Princess Hotel & Wards
"From one extremity of the island to the other, possibly, no establishment exists in a town of the same size, provided with so great a variety of articles, or on so extended a scale as the shop and warehouses of Mr.Mulhall, already alluded to, in the description of the new building of handsome cut stone, lately erected at the foot of the old main street, near the bridge.
Princess Hotel link
The retail shop, for its breadth, depth, and height, would be considered large even in a capital city; and an upper ,wareroom over it, of nearly similar dimensions, is laid out for the further display of goods, communicating with the divisions , not merely by stairs, but by a broad circular aperture, bounded by a balustrade, by means of which parties in each story hold intercourse.
On the Opposite side of the street, (pj egan's)belonging to the same individual, stood a range of warehouses for more bulky and coarser goods. Woollens, cottons, silks, in all their multifarious forms; hosiery, haberdashery, perfumery; hardwares and soft wares; groceries and drugs; timber, iron, pitch, tar, with an endless list of et ceteras, were all to be had here, both wholesale and retail, in such abundance and in such great variety, as to leave nothing deficient which was likely to be required ;and I was challenged to ask at a venture, and put the resources of this grand emporium to the test.
Really it is refreshing in this land of murmuring and repining, to see 'what may be effected, when industry and prudence, judgment and enterprise, go hand in hand. Yet it would not be fulfilling the task I have undertaken, of representing, as far as I am able, the state of things as they really are, did I not mention, that in by far the greater number of shops I entered at Boyle, complaints were common of the stagnation of commerce and decrease of the country trade. It was an unvarying tale, that the peasantry who frequented the town were poorer than formerly; at least, that they did not spend money as they heretofore used to do.
Now, that the peasantry have lost the benefits arising from the linen manufacture, which had, heretofore, spread extensively through this district, but which notoriously declined, must be admitted as true; and no other branch of manufacturing industry has yet supplied its place. On the other hand, the increase of shops does not support the position, that the demands of the country folk are less than they were; since it is quite idle to suppose, that shops would be opened without a prospect of customers; and it is evident, not only that the shops are more numerous than they used to be in Boyle, but from all I could learn, they are incomparably better furnished. Even whilst I staid there, preparations, as I have stated, were making for several additional ones in the new buildings, and generally on a scale superior to the old, excepting always, the grand magazine of Mr.Mulhall, the shop par excellence."