A receipt from 1902

Founded in 1870 by William McDowell the ‘Happy Ring House’ originally was in Mary Street and moved to no 3 Sackville Street in 1902 making it the longest established business on what is now called O’Connell Street Dublin. Completely destroyed and looted during the 1916 uprising no3 was rebuilt in 1917 using some of the original girders for the General Post Office.


During the height of the conflict centred around the GPO, William McDowell and the porter made a dash from the premises to Cathedral Street a distance of some fifty yards and in that distance William was shot in the leg and sadly the porter was shot dead.



      Shop front 1920


However, the next family generation enjoyed great prosperity form 1935 to 1976 headed by Jack McDowell who achieved notoriety in 1947 when his horse ‘Caughoo’ won the Aintree Grand National amidst a shroud of controversy at the amazing odds of 100-1.


Tradition had it that you meet your intended by the pillar and then proceeded to the ‘Happy Ring House’ to buy that special diamond ring followed by a celebratory drink in the Gresham or tea in Wynns Hotel, whatever your inclination.





RJI photo
       Current day interior

Over one hundred and forty years on we are now in the fourth generation of family ownership of Peter & John McDowell, and the Spire of Dublin has replaced the Pillar, but the ‘Happy Ring House’ still offers that same unique and special experience in choosing your engagement ring. 



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  • © 2020 McDowell's Jewellers
  • 3, Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin 1 D01 CD99 

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