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Killiney History | May 30, 2024

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Druid’s Chair Public House

Druid’s Chair Public House
NameDruid's Chair Public House
Previous NamesKilliney Bar, Killiney Hotel, McGuinness's Hotel, Victoria Hotel No. 2, Druid's Chair Hotel
AddressKilliney Village
Year Built1882 (current building) but building at this location from earliest map of 1837
Exists todayYes
On 1888 mapYes
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2022 | author
The Druid’s Chair Public House. Photo by Michael McShane 2022


YearName of occupierName of premisesSource of information
1823Thomas MooneyPublicanNewspaper report of attack
1834Thomas MooneySpirit StoresWatson’s Almanack 1834
c.1850-c.1854Mr. LawlorVictoria HotelNewspaper advert
1856-1867Bernard LarneyVictoria Hotel/Killiney Hotel, transfer of licence to his nameVarious sources including Talbot Estate rental records
1867-1882John Donegan, prop.Killiney HotelThom’s
1882-1897Peter McKeeverLicensed concerns and adjoining premises of Mr. John Donegan sold to Peter McKeever for £1,150Newspaper report of sale and other sources
1897-c.1920Mary McKeever/MaxwellOwner of Killiney Hotel along with many other commercial properties in Killiney VillageVarious sources
1915Mrs. Maxwell (widow of Peter McKeever)Auction notice for McKeever’s ‘Victoria Hotel’ & Killiney Bar (per instructions of Mrs. Maxwell who is retiring from business.)Newspaper advert
c.1920-c.1924William Kinneally & Thomas ShineThe ‘Killiney Bar’ and Shine’s HotelNewspaper advert
c.1925-36Stephen McGuinness, prop. & Francis LacyMcGuinness’s Hotel/Victoria Hotel No.2Thom’s and Talbot Estate rental records
1937-1944Rushe brothersKilliney Hotel/Victoria Hotel No.2Thom’s and Talbot Estate rental records
1945-1950W.J. McGrath, prop.Druid’s Chair HotelThom’s
1950-1981Patrick Regan & FamilyDruid’s Chair HotelThom’s

Thomas Mooney and the Irish Turks attack of 1823

It has not been possible to locate the exact position of Thomas Mooney’s public house but it would be safe to assume that it was close to where the Druid’s Chair Pub is today. If not the earliest public house in the village it was certainly one of the earliest recorded. The newspaper report below about a violent incident which occurred in 1823 is the earliest mention of a public house in Killiney Village that we have come across to date. The incident itself raises a number of questions as to what exactly happened and who the perpetrators were. No further information has yet come to light but we will continue to investigate this interesting story.

Saunder’s Newsletter 21st October 1823

Mr. Lawlor 1853

Freemans Journal 16 March 1853

An advert for the lease of the premises which appeared in the Freeman’s Journal in March 1853 describes the property ‘lately in the occupation of Mr. Lawlor. These Concerns have a Retail Licence attached, and are well adapted for carrying on the Tavern and Provision Business in this neighbourhood; contains Large Shop, Public Rooms, &c., and every other accommodation necessary for the purpose.’ In 1858 The Post Office Dublin Directory And Calendar lists a B. Larney as owner of the Victoria Tavern and the same B. Larney is recorded as proprietor of the Victoria Hotel in 1865. Bernard Larney is named as the owner in September 1866 in an advert placed by the Landed Estates Court for the sale of the House and Premises known as the Victoria Hotel. The property was held under a lease dated 26th November 1856 for 70 years. A subsequent advert which appeared in The Irish Times in October 1866 states ‘that beautifully fitted up Establishment, known as the Victoria Hotel, Killiney, to which is attached a Grocery concern, both of which are in full working order, but the proprietor is obliged, through ill health, to give up business.’ A John Donegan appears to have taken over from Bernard Larney c.1867 and continues to be mentioned as proprietor of the Killiney Inn/Tavern and Hotel up until 1884.

Extract from Talbot Estate papers 1856

Hon. Richard Gilbert Talbot Lease of house and Victoria Hotel to Bernard Larney, 1865

Bernard Larney and The Dublin International Exhibition of 1865

The Freeman’s Journal May 20th 1865
now The National Concert Hall

Patent Lever Porter Machine 1865

An advert from The Freeman’s Journal of June 1865 drawing the attention of Grocers and Vintners to the latest Patent Lever Porter Machine mentions the Killiney Hotel (we believe this refers to The Druid’s Chair Public House) as one of the establishments where it may be seen at work.

The Freeman’s Journal, June 1865

Inquest into drowning of John Harris, proprietor of the Theatre Royal, in March 1874

Clonmel Chronicle 18th March 1874

Sale to Peter McKeever in 1882

Freeman’s Journal 22nd July 1882

Death notice of Peter McKeever who died in July 1897 aged 44 (extract)

He was an exacting man of business, but hospitable and generous in disposition. Thoroughly practical in all his transactions in life, he became extremely popular amongst those who had dealings with him. He was the principal means of carrying out what later results have proved to be a most popular undertaking-that of the laying out of the Victoria Park, Killiney, close to which his residence is situated. He owned a vintner’s license and ran an hotel up to the time of his death, and in this connection Mr McKeever occupied an unique position, inasmuch as he was one of the now very few in Ireland, but still not the only one, who was a postmaster and publican carrying on the double business as one concern. Apart from this he carried on an extensive business as a buyer and seller, and his sound and copious knowledge of the Stock Exchange Markets and current quotations of stocks and shares necessarily distinguished him as one to be looked up to for sound advice in all kinds of business transactions.

To Let notice of July 1917

Freeman’s Journal 16th July 1917

William Kinneally 1921

The notice of auction below for the ‘Killiney Bar’ and adjoining property (confirmed in another advert as the site and walls of Bayview which had only recently been gutted by fire) states ‘per instructions of Mr. William Kinneally, in consequence of his purchase of Farm in Co. Wicklow, to which he intends devoting his entire attention.’ The sale included Nos. 2 and 3 Talbot Road.

Freeman’s Journal 10th October 1921
Irish Times 12th October 1921

Shine and Barre

A Thomas Shine is named as proprietor of the hotel in January 1923 when he was summoned for a breach of the licensing laws which was alleged to have taken place on Christmas Eve the previous year. The case was dismissed. In the same newspaper article a case against a Mr. Barre, Killiney, for opening his licensed premises on Christmas day was also dismissed. It is most likely that Barre’s premises was be the pub which now houses The Druid’s Chair public house.

Old postcard view c.1930

Patrick Regan and Family 1950-1981

Original Cash Register from The Killiney Bar. Image courtesy of Padraic Regan
Irish Independent 29 August 1950
Beer mat and bottle label Patrick E. Regan “The Druids Chair”. Image courtesy of Padraic Regan