In 2008 Keane’s Jewellers, one of the longest-established businesses on Oliver Plunkett Street, celebrated its diamond jubilee, an apt anniversary in this trade. The business was established in 1948 by watchmaker Paddy Keane and his wife Eileen. Initially Keane's was based in a small workshop on St Patrick’s Street. In the early years, the business was primarily concerned with watch repairs, in an era when a person would own just one watch, at most, and such a possession would need to be repaired or cleaned regularly. Paddy was the craftsman, but it was Eileen who directed the business side of the venture. After two years and with Paddy’s workload increasing, the decision was made to move to a new premises at 93 Oliver Plunkett Street.
Their son, Gerard Keane, in a 2003 interview with in the Evening Echo, explained what attracted his parents to the Oliver Plunkett Street location in 1950:
Oliver Plunkett Street was the ideal choice as it has always been a great shopping area ... the street was much quieter then but it always had this marvelous atmosphere and still does today. It’s the heart of the city and Cork is a great place for shopping or wandering or just enjoying yourself (Evening Echo : Shopping Guide supplement, 30 June 2003, p. 6).
The business continued to grow and in 1973 Keane’s acquired 93 to 95A Oliver Plunkett Street and an adjoining building. Gerard Keane recalls that this led to a major expansion of the business: “This was a most exciting time for us and became a pivotal point in our business ... the vastly increased size, two and half thousand square feet, meant that we could now showcase many more brands than before" (Keanes Jewellers: Lifestyle Magazine, Spring/Summer 2008).
In a newspaper interview in 2012, the current managing director Pat Keane commented on the importance of providing leading brands to customers, such as Omega, Longines, Breitling, Pandora, Paul Costello, Rolex, and Patek Phillipe (Evening Echo, 26 July 2012, p. 13).
Keane's attribute their success to an emphasis on customer service. Gerard Keane recalls how his mother used to dealt with children calling with the intention of buying something for their mothers: "They’d only have a pound or two at most, but she always made sure she found something for them and a special little box. They’d go out pleased as punch and she’d get a real kick out of that" (Evening Echo : Shopping Guide supplement, 30 June 2003, p. 6). In 2010, Keane's won the overall UK Jewellery Awards, and after more than sixty years in business, this retail outlet remains one of the most recognisable businesses on Oliver Plunkett Street.