Tuesday 15 October 2019

Pub with historic and film links on market for €2.75m

Historic site: J&M Cleary hosted scenes from the 1996 film ‘Michael Collins’, in which Liam Neeson played the eponymous leader
Historic site: J&M Cleary hosted scenes from the 1996 film ‘Michael Collins’, in which Liam Neeson played the eponymous leader
Liam Neeson in 'Michael Collins'
Donal Buckley

Donal Buckley

J&M Cleary, a historic Dublin pub closely associated with Michael Collins, the War of Independence and scenes in a number of films and TV programmes, is for sale with a €2.75m guide price.

As well as the going concern pub business, it also comes with retail and residential investments with rental income potential of more than €80,000 a year.

Located close to the railway bridge on Amiens St, and across the road from Connolly Station in Dublin 1, it is also close to the International Financial Services Centre and Busáras.

In 1846, the building became The Signal House pub which is referred to in James Joyce's book 'Ulysses', which also refers to the nearby Monto red-light district.

Early in the 20th century the Cleary family took over the pub and did not have to pay for electricity costs as the railway bridge blocked out the natural sunlight.

Jim Cleary was friends with Michael Collins and Harry Boland, who were key participants in the War of Independence.

Both Cleary and Boland played for Faugh's, the Dublin hurling club, and Cleary also represented Dublin and achieved two All-Ireland medals and four Leinster hurling medals.

Collins and Boland were frequent visitors and held numerous meetings to plan and organise their rebellious activities.

They also received information from rail and dock workers drinking there about the comings and goings of British soldiers. Scenes in Neil Jordan's 1996 film 'Michael Collins' starring Liam Neeson as Collins and Aidan Quinn as Boland were filmed in Cleary's.

Scenes from other films shot in Cleary included 'The Commitments' musical; the film 'Term of Trial' starring Laurence Olivier, and the 2010 documentary 'Ireland's Greatest' narrated by Michael McDowell.

The Cleary family ran the business for more than 90 years before the current owner Dessie Hanlon, who had been manager, took over its lease in 1995, and its ownership five years later.

Its bar extends to 1,097sq ft, a lounge to 1,926 sq ft, and it also has a full restaurant kitchen. To one side of the premises is a barbershop of 220sq ft which generates €1,200 per month in rent.

On the other side is a locksmith shop of 326sq ft which produces €1,600 per month. Both retail tenants have been operating for a number of years on informal terms.

Three apartments range in size between 802 and 850sq ft and each accommodates two bedrooms. Two of these are let at €1,200 per month and have separate access from Amiens St.

In addition, the top floor apartment has recently been refurbished and Nick Hughes of sales agents Coldwell Banker says it has potential to generate €1,400 per month. Among the attractive period features are a mirror and mantle piece in one of the apartments. The property also has a preservation order,

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