Gilna Opticians, Clontarf, Dublin

Located in a North Dublin suburb by the sea, newly opened Gilna Opticians is modern, stylish and on-trend

Every aspect of the store from bottom to top is modern, clean and trendy. Features include the herringbone flooring, a large banana leaf plant in the waiting area, exposed brick walls boasting a selection of stunningly displayed frames and a ‘centrepiece’ of glass display boxes running from the front to the back of the room. High class brands such as DITA, Oliver Peoples and Tom Ford are just a few of the featured collections that had an initial impact on our overall reception of the space.

Sunglass wall with exposed brick at GILNA Opticians

An impressive, unique characteristic of this store – and of the GILNA group – is hidden in its origins. The first GILNA store was opened up by John F. Gilna in The Liberties; an area of Dublin that is widely regarded as the true root of the city, in 1951 on Thomas Street. Kevin Prendergast – the current owner of GILNA Opticians – told Eyestylist that staff from the nearby Guinness Brewery, as well as tradespeople from the surrounding area were amongst the many Dubliners to frequent the opticians back then. Kevin and his business partner Terence Scully took over the business in 2004 and their branch in The Liberties continues to welcome, as they put it, “a wonderful array of loyal, local and diverse clientele” to date. The pair followed with the opening of another GILNA Opticians in the IFSC and could not wait to get their hands on the unit on Vernon Avenue, Clontarf once it became available. After a visit to the store and in seeing what they have done with the place first hand, it is clear to see why.

TVR advert 2021 linked to the TVR website
ROLF Spectacles
Götti Switzerland
Oliver Goldsmith
Details are a focus at this new contemporary eyewear store

Kevin outlined his intentions for the Clontarf store as “something that looked like it had always been there”. This underlined another unique aspect of this boutique’s design – its heritage. Across the store you can find original features of the building: exposed brickwork dating back to 1902, original patterns of brick that were once window arches and door frames as well as portraits of John F. Gilna and of The Liberties – dating back to the founding of the GILNA group in 1951 as mentioned. These splashes of authenticity combined with the stores immaculate interior design, the showcasing of the beautiful frames – lit up and displayed as though they were pieces of art in a museum – are some of the features that make GILNA a must visit boutique for any eyewear connoisseur, or history fanatic alike. For more information visit – GILNA Opticians, Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin

By Victoria G. L. Brunton