Chippers spread across Ireland in the 20th century, but they may soon fade away, according to industry veterans.
Providing classic Irish comfort food, chippers have been found in nearly every town in the country – in large part thanks to Italian immigrants in the 20th century who saw a gap in the market for fish and chips.
Despite the explosion of chippers in the last 100 years, however, several shop owners think they will soon be a thing of the past.
On Newstalk Breakfast, Reporter Henry McKean spoke to Deirdre, who married into an Irish-Italian family and has worked in the iconic Savoy Takeaway near Croke Park for the last 40 years.
“We sold up ourselves in March of this year,” she said.
“My husband had been very ill in hospital, it made us reevaluate our lives and think do we want to do this for the rest of our lives.
“We probably would have sold up in a couple of years anyway, but that just expedited the want to sell.”
In selling the takeaway to someone else, Deirdre believes they are part of the dying breed of traditional chippers.
“It will die out,” she said. “I don't think the next generation are prepared to work the way we worked.
“They have a different level of education, so I think they will go on and do their own thing and not get into the busy shop with the long hours, no family and no social life.”
The “face” of the takeaway is also changing from one across a counter to one on your phone, as online delivery apps grow in popularity – and take profits from the chippers.
“Everybody's getting a delivery,” Deirdre said.
“People don't want to come out to get their food, they want to order online.
“You might look like you're not busy in the shop, but in fact, you're very busy in the background.”
'Young people are trying to get a job'
Irish-Italian chipper owner Francesco said changes in working conditions also mean takeaways aren’t as sustainable.
“It's not like years and years ago. It wouldn't be permitted from morning to night, seven days a week,” he said.
“Young people are trying to get a good job and studying.
"They only want to work 40 or 50 hours a week like a normal person would do - not 90."
'It's just a bit too expensive'
Out on the streets, Henry asked people if they think chippers are dying – and if they’ll miss them.
“It's kind of sad to see a lot of them are closing down because it gives character to a town,” one man said.
“It was better a couple of years ago, because everything was cheaper,” another man said.
“Now it's just a bit too expensive to be eating out.”
One girl said chippers let her eat food she would never cook herself.
“I don't know what we would eat on Fridays without a chipper,” she said.
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