TOM Mccarthy's or The Central Bar if you like - celebrated the 60th anniversary of its opening at the weekend and on May 4th to be exact.
The pub itself was built as a hotel circa 1870 and was called the Chute Arms Hotel, it was then purchased by Tom Mccarthy Snr., and opened its doors as The Central Bar on the 4th May 1952. It was given a total refit and had the windows raised at the front to stop the cattle breaking the glass from the street fairs.
Tom Snr picked a good day to open the newest bar in town as it coincided with the official opening of the new Desmonds GAA field on the Limerick Rd.
The inaugural game was a challenge match between two great rivals, Kerry and Cork and the game ended in a draw, 19 to 12 points.
Tom Snr married Mary in 1960 and they ran the pub together and raised five children who all helped in the running of the business. In 1997 the bar got its second major facelift when Tom Jnr took over the running of the business under the watchful eye of Tom and Mary.
It was then that the unique, panelled ceiling was installed and this remains a work of art and the result of a collaboration between Killarney Road neighbours, Joe Sheehy and the late Mike Kenny.
Tom Snr passed away in 2008 and handed the reins to young Tom. He would have been a very proud man to see his bar hit the 60 year mark. Mary continues to help run the pub every day and still has a few things to teach young Tom.
There has been a huge interest in sport at Tom's over the years and the Mccarthys' have sponsored many teams in that time. They have had a remarkably successful year with basketball and soccer. The already honour laden womens' National League Team, ' Team Tom Mccarthy's' won the county league and an All Ireland title in Dublin last March.
The soccer team, on the outing last Sunday against The Park, left their supporters gripping the railings until a heart-stopping and heroic penalty by Pa O'rourke sent the game to a well deserved draw; the replay is on Friday evening a 8pm. And there's more: The B soccer team is also in a final against a Tralee side and they will take on Tralee Dynamos this coming Sunday.
The big 60 night was celebrated with Castleisland Desmonds holding a special anniversary Lotto to mark the double milestone and all raised a glass to another 60 years at Toms'.
The late great John B. Keane drank a few pints there with renowned matchmaker, Dan Paddy Andy O'sullivan and the pub was a noted haunt and shelter for the late Patrick O'keeffe.
In fact, he drank the last pint of many in the pub on his final journey to hospital in Tralee during the terrible weather conditions of early 1963.
Tom Snr. and Mary both contributed to the RTE Radio 1 documentary on the life of the great fiddler made by the station's Peter Browne in 1993. Many more years of success to all at Tom Mccarthy's.