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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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How to have the best skincare routine at home

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Home care is essential for glowing, youthful skin. It’s like brushing your teeth, it must be done twice a day. Step […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Home care is essential for glowing, youthful skin. It’s like brushing your teeth, it must be done twice a day.

Step one: Cleanse to remove sweat, oil, dirt and other pollutants that your skin naturally collects throughout the day and night. It’s the first step in your skincare routine and shouldn’t be rushed.

How to do it; Cleanse your skin in the morning and in the evening to keep your pores clear and your face fresh. Your cleanser may vary based on skin type, but with all cleansers, the general consensus is to apply them using an upward, circular motion so as to prevent wrinkles from forming. Make sure your hands are clean in order to prevent excess dirt from entering your pores.

Step two: There is a lot of confusion around toner, and when you’re first establishing a daily skincare routine, it may even seem unnecessary. But most experts agree that toning is an important addition to your skin care routine with beneficial effects for your skin. After you cleanse your skin of impurities, toner removes any residue left behind by the cleanser as well as any make-up or oils your cleanser might have missed. The added cleansing effects help prepare your skin to absorb moisturiser and minimise the appearance of pores. Some toners may have PH balancing and antiseptic effects as well. Apply toner right after you have cleansed your skin while it is still damp. The best way to apply it is with a cotton pad or cotton ball, simply soaking cotton pad with toner and wiping upward and out, starting at your neck.

Step 3: Exfoliate. Our skin is constantly shedding millions of skin cells every day, but sometimes those cells can build up on the surface of our skin and need some extra help to be removed. Exfoliating removes these dead skin cells that have accumulated in our pores. If you struggle with blackheads, acne or breakouts, you’re not going to want to miss this step.

It’s best to exfoliate after toning and before moisturising. You should exfoliate one to three times a week, but this depends on your skin type and how it reacts to exfoliation. Experiment and find what works best for you. There are chemical exfoliators and granule exfoliators such as your traditional sugar or salt scrub. Both can be effective tools for removing dead skin cells, but chemical exfoliating ingredients like AHA and BHA are often more effective in getting deep into your pores and removing buildup.

Properly cleansed skin will allow your next steps e.g. serums and moisturisers get to the right layers of the skin where they will be most effective.

For a skincare consultation or more advice just ask Jill on 064 6632966.

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Annual Christmas motorbike charity road run launched

The Kerry Bikers are hosting their annual Christmas Bike Run on December 18. The event will raise funds for St Francis’ Special School at St Mary of the Angels in […]

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The Kerry Bikers are hosting their annual Christmas Bike Run on December 18.

The event will raise funds for St Francis’ Special School at St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort and Eagle Lodge in Tralee.

Now in its sixth year, the run, which is organised by an amalgamation of several Kerry motorcycle clubs under the banner of Kerry Bikers, will visit Killarney.

The run gets underway at 10.30am from Tralee. The first stop off is in Sheahan’s Centra on the Muckross Road where the Tralee group will be joined by local motorcyclists before setting off on a yet to be decided route.

“We will announce the route in Killarney. Last year we went to Killorglin, Farranfore and Castleisland. This year Abbeyfeale and Listowel may be in reach and if so we will make donations to Nano Nagle Special School too,” organiser Dave Foley said.

Over one hundred motorcycles are expected to take part in the run. Last year the full convoy measured 1.6km from start to finish.

“We hope to exceed that this year,” added Foley

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