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125 years serving pints on New Street




Charlie Foley’s is Killarney’s oldest family run public house but will have to wait a little while longer to enjoy official celebrations. In the meantime, Colm and his staff will continue to provide an ever changing high standard of service to Killarney locals and tourists for the foreseeable future.

I visited in the morning time and getting left in the side door out of hours was a novelty in itself!

It was evident the magic Christmas fairy Norma O’Donoghue had visited as the bar was twinkling for the festive season ahead, whatever COVID restrictions might bring.

“I can’t take any credit, Norma is fantastic at what she does,” Colm Foley told me.


In November 1896, Charlie Foley and his wife Ellen, on returning from Liverpool back home to Kerry, purchased 101 New Street from the estate of Lord Kenmare, a ‘local bar’ that still proudly bears the Foley name over the door.

Ireland of that time was a place of political and social turmoil, rebellion from the old order, growth in industry and expansion of tourism and communications. This was the birth of what became known as Foley's of New Street.

Charlie and Ellen were the opening Foley chapter. Charlie Junior soon stepped into his father’s shoes as master of the house, having married Noreen Lyne of the famous Kerry footballing family, together they continued the operation of the public house and grocery and raised their own young family.

These times were of an infant country, fresh from the troubles of 1916, the Civil War, birth of a new republic, and a third generation of Foley's began their lives in 101 New Street.

Tragedy struck the family with the sudden death of Charles, the eldest son of Charlie and Noreen. Eileen, their next eldest child, returned from nursing in Cork to help with the running of the family business.

“Sure I never had the grá to run a pub Marie but it came naturally to me,” Eileen said. Eileen went on to marry Colm Foley from Killorglin. The birth of their first born coincided with a change of direction for Foley's. The old ways of combining grocery with public house was coming to an end, and Eileen and Colm lead the change.

Charlie, Eileen’s father, passed away in 1984. Together, along with rearing a young family, Eileen and Colm moved with the times and brought 101 New Street forward to cater for a growing Killarney town and more discerning customer. Unfortunately Eileen’s husband Colm passed away tragically in 2003. With a young family to rear she also kept the doors of Charlie Foley's open to the public. Eileen’s son, Colm Foley, took on the challenge at the age of 17 to continue what his great-grandparents began, and it has continued seamlessly through to the generations.

“I ran the pub under the watchful eye of my mother, bringing in local DJs like Kevin Sul and DJ Gaz attracting a younger clientele, but sustaining an atmosphere for our long-term customers also. A new era with an older feel," Colm added.

“The plan was to celebrate this year, 125 years at Foley’s, but COVID has played havoc with many celebrations across the board. On making my initial enquiries about our 125 year celebrations, I knew that COVID would curtail my imagined festivities. I didn't think Mass in the bar with my family would be too much of a hurdle, but as it turns out Fr Kieran was unavailable regardless of COVID as Austin Stacks are due to play Kerin O'Rahillys in the county final on Sunday," Colm joked.


“Overall Colm, how has adapting to COVID over the past 20 months been?" I asked.

“It was a trying time and serious uncertainty but everyone is the same. Over the past 125 years Foley’s has survived the Spanish Flu, the Civil War, two World Wars and the War of Independence and it’s not going to sink on my watch! Our staff, Gerry, Samantha and Courtney, suggested we operate Foley’s like they used to as a team in New York. A system was put in place and it’s worked wonderfully, as well as we can do in COVID times. I am lucky to have great staff and great customers. We continue to welcome locals and tourists alike to Foley’s in a safe but atmospheric environment. We are thankful to have welcomed back live music with Donal Lucey and Cathal Flaherty in recent months which is great.”

I commented on the many photographs throughout the entire bar which are seeping in history, smiles and atmosphere within the Foley family and their customers, local legends and special occasions at the pub. An heirloom of memories, character and authenticity is not something that can be bought. It’s no wonder Foley’s on New Street has been a popular place to socialise at for the past 125 years.

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Jessie Buckley to perform live on RTE this Friday 22nd September



This Culture Night, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh will present an hour-long live music and arts programme from Dún Lúiche in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht at 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.  

Actress and singer Jessie Buckley has been added to the list of stellar musicians who will perform with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on the night. Jessie will perform a special rendition of a Sinéad O’Connor song in tribute to the late artist. 

Jessie commented: “I am very honoured to return to Culture Night 2023 to remember Sinéad O Connor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Sinéad was such a huge influence on so many women in Ireland and across the world, her courage, her mind, her politics and her intense beauty and soul. She was a warrior to humanity. I remember hearing her for the first time and feeling her uncompromising need to connect and affect. Recognising what couldn’t be said and speaking it out loud. I am so grateful for all her fire and all her love. It is such a privilege to return to Ireland for RTÉ Culture Night in Donegal to sing a song of gratitude for Sinéad and her family and friends.” 

Other artists performing with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra include The Murder Capital, R&B singer and 2FM Rising star Aby Coulibaly and Irish-based Ukrainian musician Olesya Zdorovetska.  

Friday 22nd September, 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player 

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N22 Killarney to Faranfore road further delayed

The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again. Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project […]




The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again.

Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project were identified and were put out to public consultation in May 2021. These have now been whittled down to just one.

It was previously promised that the preferred route would be published late last year.

This dragged on in to the Spring and there is still no sigh of the preferred route being revealed.

A recent Kerry County Council meeting a council official explained that there are further funding requirements to allow the council complete various reports and investigations required before the road can move to its next phase.

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