In 1840 James Moroney set up a bar & grocery in the Lower Market area, known to this day as The Mall. It is now the oldest family owned pub in Ennis. In the early years it was frequented by townspeople and country folk alike who came to purchase their tea & sugar which was bagged on the premises, along with all the other household items of the time. In those days the premises had a 6-day license and it was only in the early 50s that his grandson Gerry changed this to a 7-day one.
Apparently he never opened on a Sunday, preferring to keep this day free for the family. Another quirk of his was to close up the back entrance to the premises saying, "if one doesn't wish to enter through the front door there is no reason for them to enter through the back". Obviously, business theories differed back then from those of today. The family also bottled their own whiskey & beer up to the early 60s and photos of this era feature on the newly renovated pub walls.
On James death on 31st Dec 1884, the premises passed to his wife Anne. She continued the traditions until her son John took over the reins. He became Chairman of the Ennis Urban District Council and chaired meetings in the Town Hall, which is now a well known restaurant, and part of the Old Ground Hotel on O'Connell Street. His son Gerry, who was well known in GAA & greyhound circles, inherited the pub in the 50s and renovated it in 1965 to concentrate solely on a bar trade. Gerry's motto of a clean glass, clean floor, clean toilet and a good pint still stand to this day. His wife Mary who worked in the pub for 45 years was very popular with all customers. Their son James also worked in the pub during the 80s.
The pub was, and still is, very popular with country folk, as generations down through the years, who came to Ennis to shop, dropped in to buy their groceries or have a relaxing drink. Indeed, the snug area was where the ladies were ushered on entering the premises, and it is here that many matches were made down through the years. Pictures on the walls show the transformation of the Market area over the last 100 years to the thriving business area it is today.
On Gerry's retirement from business in 2004 and on the death of his wife Mary the premises underwent a complete renovation from top to bottom. It was decided that the front of the premises would return to the facade it had at the turn of the century, with the name of the original owner James over the door. The interior was transformed into an old style pub, with memorabilia of times past on the wall, in the form of pictures, receipts photos etc. It was John Moroney, son of Gerry, and fourth generation owner who undertook this work along with his wife Marian. Since re-opening on Saturday 4th June 2005, the overall reaction was that it is great to see Moroney's back in action.
On the 4th June, 2005, Brian John McCarthy took over the running of Moroney's. He was quick to establish a loyal following with his superb trad sessions, live sporting events and, most of all, his welcoming manner. He had the Leeds United, Chelsea, Spurs and Celtic supporters clubs gracing the bar for live matches and Marcus Moloney's Wednesday night trad sessions were legendary. Unfortunately, Brian John had to retire on 23rd June, 2011, due to ill health, but his contribution was immense and we would like to thank him profusely for putting Moroney's back on the map.
In 2011, Charlie O'Mara started running the bar, continuing to make Moroney's the place to be in Ennis. Since 2016, the bar has been run by John White. John continues the great ethos of Moroney's, which has not changed since the doors were first opened back in 1840 - "All are welcome".
You can find Moroney's Bar at 9 Lower Market Street, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland. Take a look at the map below!