Sixth generation celebrating Christmas at historic Keenan’s of Tarmonbarry

 Sixth generation celebrating Christmas at historic Keenan’s of Tarmonbarry

Father and son: Barry and David.


Landmark pub Keenan’s of Tarmonbarry is the favourite festive lunch stop for drivers crossing the country during the build-up to Christmas. The traditional interior lends itself perfectly to decorating and it will soon be looking its best for the yuletide season.


For six generations, the same family has welcomed hungry and thirsty travellers, and now David Keenan has been appointed as general manager. The original pub, a more modest establishment, was opened by David’s great great great grandfather, Hugh Reynolds on the same site in 1865. David’s parents, Barry and Annette Keenan, took over 25 years ago and were responsible for introducing the food service with which Keenan’s has become synonymous, as well as developing the 12-bedroom boutique hotel.


“It’s a privilege as well as a responsibility to take over a family business with a history like Keenan’s has”, says David Keenan, “It’s a weight I am proud to carry on my shoulders. I was brought up in the business and it seems like a natural progression to take charge now. I’m looking forward to the future and the challenges it brings”. David is accustomed to taking up challenges and brings new expertise into the business, having spent several years working in the financial sector in Dublin and abroad.


A new festive cocktail menu using local tipples is just one of David’s innovations. The Cinnamon Sleigh, Holly Beret, Baileys Comet are highlights of the cocktail card.


Cinnamon Sleigh
A slightly spicy and refreshing cocktail. A cinnamon, maple whiskey sour featuring whiskey from Lough Ree Distillery.


Holly Beret
Lough Ree Gin is the main ingredient in this refreshing green tinted cocktail with lemon juice and cucumber as zesty background flavours.


Baileys Comet
Smooth and silky, this is a variation on an espresso martini with Baileys in the driving seat and a cinnamon stick for added spice.


Historic Keenans
The historic pub lies at the crossroads of the mighty River Shannon flowing north to south, and the N5 linking the east and west coasts. Tarmonbarry Bridge, built in the mid-1840s and probably tolled in the early days, made the location a strategic for the new pub and it soon became a regular watering hole for travellers as it is to this day. In the mid-1970s the bridge was adapted so it could open to accommodate larger watercraft.


A pair of tiny shoes cast in bronze marks Tarmonbarry one of the first waypoints on the evocative National Famine Way, a 165km pilgrimage from Strokestown Park House to EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin.  It follows the footsteps of almost 1500 people on an ill-fated forced emigration to Canada. Keenan’s is one of the stamping stations for the trail passport carried by walkers.

The new Royal Canal Greenway begins just a couple of minutes from Keenan’s and both bike racks and secure bike lock ups are provided for customers. They’ll even do a bicycle delivery/collection service to the door on request. The Royal Canal Greenway is a 130km linear cycle path running along the canal tow path from Cloondara all the way to Maynooth.