A desire for more family time, added to the fact that he has recently taken on more political responsibilities has set Cllr. Bobby O’Connell pondering on his future as a publican.
The current Mayor of Killarney Municipal Area, Cllr. O’Connell is also the longest serving publican / bar owner in the trade in Castleisland.
“There comes a time when you have to face these decisions and this is the time for me to get out from behind the bar,” said Mayor O’Connell.
“I want to spend more time with my family and I’ve been taking on an extra role in the political arena within the county in recent times and I also want to concentrate on that. I’m not cutting my links with the business altogether though. I’ll still be the owner but I’m renting the bar itself,” he said.
Dr. John B Keane
The Poet’s Inn opened in December 1989 and Bobby’s great family friend Dr. John B. Keane did the honours for him.
The portrait of the late Listowel writer was the first to go up on the wall of Irish literary heroes all those years ago. Several have been added since including the late Con Houlihan in more recent times.
“The trade has changed entirely from what it used to be like when I started out in 1989. There’s a lot more drink being brought into pubs now from supermarkets and off licenses and you’d find the bottles at the end of the night. That’s all eating into the profits that allowed a publican to employ people once.
Core of Great ‘Sup Porters’
“I’d like to hand this over to a young fella with new ideas for a new generation. I have a solid core of great ‘sup porters’ and they have been with me down through the years and I’m sure they’d be looked after in any change over,” said Bobby with a sweep of his hand around the atmospheric, intimate bar – which celebrates our cultural heritage with many reminders in nooks and crannies and on its walls.
“My first two customers were: Francie Brosnan from Tullig and Charlie Moriarty from Currow and their children actually married each other later on. I have a lot of great memories from here – but it’s time to move on,” Bobby concluded.
All enquiries on the renting of The Poet’s Inn to: James Kelliher of Kelliher O’Shea, Chartered Accountants, 49/51 Main Street, Castleisland, Co. Kerry before 17th June 2016. Telephone: 066 71 41296