Mooney's Pub - Monasterevin
( Undertaker & Auctioneer, Tea, Wine, Spirit and Provision Merchant)
Mooney’s in Monasterevin is a traditional Irish pub you’ll probably be talking about long after you’ve gone. It’s one of the few surviving pubs in Ireland which still acts as a shop at the front, a pub in the middle and an…undertakers at the back. Yes, for a long time in this part of Monasterevin, it's been a case of bodies served in the front and dressed in the back. Pubs doubling as undertakers in Ireland were not uncommon in the past. In 1846, the Coroners Act dictated that a dead body could be directed to the nearest tavern or public house and all owners were obliged to consent. Needless to say, a lot of public houses saw the opportunity to make a business out of this gruesome necessity. Since the 1960’s, when the legal provision was removed, there have been fewer and fewer of these unique pubs.
But enough talk about the dead, Mooney’s is a great talking pub for the living. It opens very early and we recommend you call in early. Hungry? Good – there’s no food in Mooney’s, but ask Jenny or Stephen nicely (Mooney’s regular barmaid/man) and you may just get a ham sandwich…made up fresh from the bread and ham for sale in the shop.
Mooney’s is full of character and there are always a few characters hanging about the place, even early in the day – Mooney's Pub inevitably does fill up, slowly but surely, as the day and evening goes on. The coal fire is lit every year on the 1st November – never before, whatever the weather. It is a superbly old fashioned pub, complete with a very large old fashioned snug - which actually used to be the owner's front parlour -and still very much looks like your maiden aunt’s Victorian front parlour, complete with your own little serving hatch.
Mooney’s whiskey story? Well, don’t expect a great array of whiskeys in this traditional pub, just Ireland's most popular choice: Jameson, Paddy and Powers. However, they have what is probably one of the most valuable bottles of Irish whiskey in existence. Or maybe we should just say what should have been one of the most valuable bottles of Irish Whiskey. Given to Mooney's by the local priest in the 1970's and displayed in a simple cabinet, is an original bottle of… Cassidy’s whiskey – the only one we have ever come across!! Problem is, it’s not quite full… Paul, Mooney’s owner, sent it away a few years ago to a laboratory to make sure that it was whiskey inside. Sure enough, the report came back, and yes it’s most definitely whiskey, but as any whiskey collector will tell you, the commercial value of such a unique item was irrevocably ruined by having it opened. Paul had no idea how valuable his bottle was, but was never going to part with it anyway. So he now has a wonderful piece of distilling history in that old bottle and a truly Irish story to go with it.
The pub is deceptively large - previously owned by Paul's maiden aunt, her former front parlour and kitchen were incorporated into the pub after she passed away. There is an area to the back, where the old kitchen used to be, known as Cassidy's kitchen, which has a lovely framed print of the Cassidy family tree. Mooney's Irish Pub will be celebrating 100 years in the same family on 12 August 2012... now this may seem like a lot of advance planning, but if you were looking for an Irish party to remember for the next 100 years...
Call into Mooney’s Irish Pub any time you like – we like to think you will have taken a stroll through Monasterevin first – walked past the old distillery (and lamented over its complete state of disrepair), found the old mill stream which used to feed the distillery and enjoyed the simplicity of this Irish Midlands' town.
Mooney’s Pub - Main Street, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare
Tel.: +353 (0)45 525360