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125 years serving pints on New Street

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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.

HISTORY

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.

ADAPTING TO CHANGING TIMES

“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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Man released without charge in murder case

The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge […]

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The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge in relation to this matter.

Miriam Burns was found in her home on Monday afternoon after family and neighbours became concerned about her welfare.

A file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and investigations are ongoing under the direction of a Senior Investigating Officer.

Gardaí are continuing to appeal to any persons who were in the Ardshanavooley area between 5pm on Friday and 1pm on Monday and observed any activity which drew their attention, to come forward.

Any road users who were travelling in the area at these times who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 6671160, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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Plenty of music and entertainment to celebrate Kilcummin talent

The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night. The talent within […]

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The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night.

The talent within the branch was clearly evident with a packed trophies table. Indeed some of the successes over the last number of months were replayed in a relaxed, jovial atmosphere that meant that all attending had a great night’s entertainment.

“We had demonstrations of winning sets across all age groups and then we moved onto the musicians who pulled out all the stops to entertain the large crowd, packed into the clubhouse,” Derek O’Leary, Kilcummin CCÉ PRO, told the Killarney Advertiser.

John Moriarty, who has recently retired from his role of Supervisor with Kilcummin Rural Development was acknowledged with a presentation to reflect the outstanding work that he has done to enhance and grow Kilcummin Comhaltas over his 25 years in his role, he added.

“Much thanks and praise was also offered to Mary, Adrian and Conor Moriarty, all involved in the progression of dancing and music within the Kilcummin branch. The music and entertainment continued with Helen Kerins and Denis Crowley late into the night. We’re looking forward to next year already!”

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