Facing the future with a nod to the past
THERE was great sense of anticipation on Upper Main Street/Goat Street last Friday night as one of Dingle's pubs of yesteryear opened its doors once more amid mighty celebrations.
Kennedy's pub welcomed its first punters in some years last Friday as Michael Murphy, whose family first established the pub three generations ago, and his girlfriend Kay Newell, gave a warm welcome all those who came out to raise a glass to their new endeavour.
Michael is the grandson of Mike Kennedy (a native of Baile an Mhuilinn) and Nora Kennedy who first established Kennedy's in the 1930s after they returned from working in the States. His father Danny Murphy, from Goat Street, and Mary Rose (nee Kennedy) took over the running of the pub in later years. Kennedy's was a central part of day to day life in Dingle and became one of the town's favourite haunts.
Both Danny and Mary Rose both passed away in recent years and Michael has since decided to return the pub to its former glory and continue with the family tradition.
The result has been welcomed by locals as the pub has managed to retain its character and authenticity. A large trunk, which must have crossed the Atlantic on a ship at some point as it has 'Cobh' stamped on its side, takes pride of place in the pub's sitting room. The kitchen has also been opened up with the old stove now a centrepiece. Out the back there is a large beer garden area and punters also enjoyed curling up in the snug, which is one of the few remaining in the town.
The pub's first customers ranged from those who may have enjoyed a pint there back in the day, to the next generation who were keen to check out this new addition to Dingle's nightlife.
"We have tried to stay true to the traditional feel of the pub," said Michael Murphy, who is a town planner by profession, told The Kerryman on opening night.
"The pub has been in my family for generations and we wanted to respect that. We are very happy with the way it has turned out and we want to extend a warm welcome to everyone to join us in Kennedy's."
Kennedy's will benefit from having a foot in Dingle's busiest watering hole - popularly known as the 'golden triangle' of MacCarthy's, Currans and Foxy John's. Strictly speaking the addition of Kennedy's would now make the triangle into a square. The golden square doesn't quite have the same ring about it, but it won't be long before some wit in the drinking enclave comes up with an appropriate alternative.