Business Irish

Saturday 16 November 2019

Traditional touch and star quality helps serve up jump in profits at famous pub

The Merrion Row pub – famed for its traditional music history – has welcomed stars and CEOs alike
The Merrion Row pub – famed for its traditional music history – has welcomed stars and CEOs alike

Gordon Deegan

The actor who played the fearsome Khal Drogo from 'Game of Thrones' and Apple CEO Tim Cook helped swell the coffers of Ireland's most storied pub, O'Donoghue's, last year.

New accounts show that profits at the Merrion Row pub in Dublin more than doubled to €452,098 in the year to the end of June last.

The profits followed profits of €167,498 in 2016.

The profit in 2017 at O'Donoghue's (Merrion Row) Ltd resulted in accumulated profits at the company increasing from €705,450 to €1.157m. The company's cash pile increased sharply from €1.49m to €2m.

Along with Jason Momoa who starred in 'Game of Thrones' and tech boss Cook, Michael Kelly from Netflix hit 'House of Cards' also visited the pub during the year. The pub is owned and operated by the Barden family. Carol Barden said yesterday: "We were happy with the figures to year end 2017.

"We are very lucky to have a strong loyal customer base and a great hardworking team who deliver a good service day-in day-out.

"Despite the many new offerings in the Dublin bar scene there is still a strong demand for the offerings of the traditional Irish bar."

Ms Barden said that turnover for this year remains steady with Guinness remaining the number one drink for customers.

Numbers employed last year increased from 13 to 16.

Remuneration for directors increased from €583,884 to €605,555 made up of €155,555 in pay and €450,000 in pension contributions. The pub has long been associated with traditional Irish music and the Dubliners in particular who began to play at the pub in the 1960s. The premises was built in 1789 and in 1934 began operating as a full-time pub when Maureen and Paddy O'Donoghue began running the bar.

Oliver Barden purchased the pub in 1988 and shareholder funds at the company last year totalled €8.58m that included €7.4m in a revaluation reserve and the accumulated profits of €1.15m. The profit takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €190,672. The company's bank loans reduced from €645,241 to €451,606 during the year.

Irish Independent

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