12 of the Oldest Pubs in Ireland

The Irish Gazette editorial staff did a search for the oldest pubs in each County in Ireland and the following are what we found that have been in continuous operation since they were founded. In Ramsey County Minnesota The Spot Bar on the corner of Victoria and Randolph ranks as the oldest licensed pub dating back to 1885  which is pretty good compared to these in Ireland.

In County Meath – O’Connell’s Pub. Date founded: 1845 and is located in the historic village of Skryne, O’Connell’s is best known for its appearance in the famous Guinness Christmas TV advert.

In County Carlow – Reddy’s. Date founded: 1768

Reddy’s pub and restaurant on Tullow Street in the centre of Carlow town was founded in the 18th century. The business has gone through quite a few transformations over time including a spell as a hotel and, as recently as the 1930s, as a funeral directors.

In County Kilkenny – The Kyteler’s Inn. Date founded: 1324

This Pub is located on St Kieran’s Street in the medieval city of Kilkenny, the first owner of Kyteler’s Inn is said to have been Dame Alice Kyteler, who was accused of witchcraft in the early 14th century.

In County Laois – Morrissey’s Bar. Date founded: 1775

Like many of the old pubs on this list, Morrisey’s in Abbeyleix began life as a grocery store that also served alcohol. To this day, it retains its “traditional” pub feel, containing many kinds of Irish memorabilia from days of yore.

In County Westmeath – Canton Casey’s. Date founded: 1825

Located in Mullingar, Canton Casey’s bar has been at the heart of business in the town since 1825. The business is located adjacent to the statue of local legend Joe Dolan in the town centre.

In County Wexford – GH Letts. Date founded: 1810

Located in Enniscorthy, Lett’s is one of the leading drinks wholesale and distribution organisations in the country. Today, seven generations later, the business is still in the hands of the Lett family.

In County Mayo – Mellett’s Emporium. Date founded: 1797

Currently run by the seventh generation of the Mellett family, this Swinford pub has been in operation since 1797. It originally consisted of a grocery store at the front of the premises with a bar at the rear with Mellett’s also operating a funeral director service for many years but today only the pub remains.

In County Roscommon – Morahan’s Bar. Date founded: 1641

Located in Ballinagare, the bar has been in the same family since 1641. Currently, Morahan’s is run by the eighth generation of the Morahan family. An interesting side note is that each generation of the family has had a Bernard Morahan, with the name being passed on from generation to generation.


In County Donegal – Coyle’s Bar. Date founded: 1845

Located in Newtowncunningham, Coyle’s Bar was previously known as McDaid’s and before that it was run by the Gallagher’s. The current owners have records dating back to 1845.

In County Cork – The Old Thatch. Date founded: 1667

Located in Killeagh in East Cork, The Old Thatch is one of the oldest licensed premises in Ireland. The present owners, the Sweeneys, can trace ownership as far back as the mid-1700s.

In County Kerry – Ashes Pub. Date founded: 1849

Located in Dingle, Ashes was founded by John O’Connor in 1849 as a licensed grocery store. The name was changed to Ashes in 1926, but the family connection has remained since the day of John O’Connor.

In County Limerick – The Locke Bar. Date founded: 1724

Located on King’s Island in the historic centre of Limerick City, The Locke Bar dates all the way back to 1724.

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