A LONG-running family business has announced its closure prompting widespread sadness.
The announcement by Doherty's Designer Suites marks the end of an era for Strabane town centre.
Operating from its John Wesley Street premises, the Doherty family business has been an ever-present in the town's retail landscape since being established by the late Laurence Doherty Snr over 40 years ago.
"After 43 years of a family business started by our father Laurence Snr in Strabane town, it is with great sadness that it has to end like this," Laurence Doherty Jnr stated.
Mr Doherty said that following a number of deaths within the family in recent years, namely his brothers Tom and Joe, and most recently, his father on Easter Sunday, he felt that the time had come to cease operations.
"I have made the painful decision that I am left with no other option but to sell the family business," he continued.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers who kept us in business for all those years. We were truly thankful for your support."
The property at John Wesley Street has now been put on the market and is being offered as a "prime town centre commercial unit" by Ronan McAnenny Ltd.
"This property has been maintained to the highest of standard with the extension for the retail area built approximately 20 years ago," Mr McAnenny said.
"The property is currently divided into two sections however it can easily be converted into one building."
Snce news of the closure, scores of local people have heaped praise on the Doherty family and paid tribute to them for their years of service.
Strabane independent councillor, Raymond Barr commented: "So sad to see that Laurence Doherty has been left with no option but to discontinue the family business.
"The Doherty family have been hit hard with tragedy over the past few years and this has obviously impacted on a highly respected and professional Strabane business which has been left with no choice but to close."
Mr Barr said the business will be missed.
Local business grouping, Strabane Business Improvement District (BID), said it was also sad to learn of the closure.
A statement read: "Strabane BID are saddened to hear of the impending closure of Dohertys Designer Suites.
"A stalwart business for the past 43 years the loss will be the end of an era and heavily felt within the town centre.
"We would like to extend our good wishes to Laurence for the future."