“I believe the buyer had second thoughts when he realised the amount of work needed to bring it back to life as a public house,” said a spokesman for the buyers turned sellers of the former Sheila Prendiville’s Bar and Grocery, 22 Main Street.
The premises ceased trading as a pub on Friday night, July 11th 2014 and its many chapters of history were folded away on that night.
A gathering of locals and people who had rarely, if ever, darkened the door of No.22 previously were there to witness that final night of trading.
A few of us had a couple of social glasses there since but it was never the same after that night when the light went out for the last time.
The date on the fascia, beside the W. Prendiville, boldly states Est.1798. That was an exercise in conservatism by sign-writer, Mike Kenny who, for once, erred on the side of caution.
He and Sheila deliberated for some time, with the pub counter between them, over the date. Sheila was looking at it through the generations of people who had been there before her and could, she said, have gone further back.
Mr. Kenny – God be good to both of them now – pressed the point that when you nail your colours to a mast in so public a fashion you’d better be able to defend it against all comers.
Sign Writer’s Ladder
The sign-writer’s ladder was left against the wall that evening as the discussion went on. It was only finally agreed upon well after darkness had fallen and work began the following day.
It was an agreement that would bring joy to both of them a little over a month later when their deliberations drew a most favourable comment from the Tidy Towns adjudicator in September 1998. Another great night at No. 22 ensued.
It was a place where ambience and atmosphere could be cut in slices. It was a place that was sought out by people on the great Castleisland days like: St. Patrick’s Day; the November 1 Horse Fair, the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival and any other excuse for a gathering.
Talking About Soup
We were talking about soup making one night late and we had all the ingredients in an imaginary pot in the middle of the floor. We had just about agreed that bones were great for adding flavour when there was a heavy knock at the door. You’d just know it could only be a guard that would pound so bravely at that hour of the morning – and we had to leave the soup for another time and we hadn’t even got to the stock.
It was an ideal little pub for music and it was equally ideal for a night or day of pure conversation. We had the most innocent fun made up from foolish ideas like things we thought we saw on the way home from our previous meetings. Topics ranged from the proverbial sublime to the utterly ridiculous. We had two great anchor men for devilment in David Dauber Prendiville and the late Joe Kearney.
Enquiries Fron Locals Abroad
Enquiries from locals abroad frequently include a request for an update on the position of the sale and possible development – and this piece is an attempt at an update.
There was a hope and a verified rumour that the buyer was adamant that the building would revert to life as a pub. Now that’s all up in the air with this latest development.
“That possibility is still there if the right buyer came along. It just wasn’t to be for the seller at present,” said the spokesperson.
The Newcastle West based O’Donovan & Associates Auctioneers are handling this sale and they can be contacted on: 069 62713