There were celebrations in landmark Monasterevin pub Mooney’s last Saturday night as it toasted its 100th birthday with a party for customers.
Owner Paul Hyland, his family and staff, raised a glass to mark the occasion exactly 100 years - and a couple of hours - after his grandmother Kate Delaney bought the pub.
Original deeds hanging on the wall of the hostelry show that Kate took ownership of the pub on August 14, 1912, at exactly 3.15pm.
Kate Delaney was just 30 when she took over the running of the existing pub, and she came to the area from Mountrath where her family ran butcher’s shop PJ Delaney’s. “She must have been a very enterprising woman,” said her grandson, who himself has been behind the bar since 1975.
Kate married local man Christy Mooney, from Treascon Stud in Portarlington, and they had two sons, Jimmy and Christy, and two daughters, Bridie and Sadie.
She passed away from Alzheimers in 1963, and her daughter Bridie Mooney took over the thriving pub and grocery. “Bridie Mooney was well-known through Kildare, Laois and Offaly,” said Mr Hyland.
The son of Kate’s other daughter, Sadie, he took over the pub when Bridie passed away in 1986. Mr Hyland is married to Eilidh, and they have two children, Ian and Sadie.
The business has changed substantially since he took the reins, according to Mr Hyland, and Mooney’s, like others, has been hit by the recession.
“Business is disastrous,” he said. “It’s the recession and people’s habits have changed - we cannot compete against the supermarkets. But we’ve gone through recessions before and we’ll try to fight this one.
“Monasterevin has ten pubs and two clubhouses, but the day is coming when it will have one or two pubs, and that is it,” he warned.
Nevertheless, the Hyland family threw open the doors to celebrate their pub’s landmark birthday with an open house last Saturday evening. “It has been a tremendous privilege for me and my family to serve the people of Kildare, Laois and Offaly for the last 100 years,” he said.
- Laura Coates