Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A LANDMARK pub in Ballylinan has marked the end of an era with the retirement of owners Mary and Micheál Brennan.

Fleming’s pub on Main Street has been in the family for generations. More than 30 years ago, Mary (née Fleming) and Micheál took over the pub from her three aunts Nance, Jenny and Lily, continuing the long family connection with the premises.

The couple’s retirement brings that long-running chapter to a close, as the pub comes under new management. For the first time in generations, there will no longer be a member of the Fleming family behind the bar.

Mary and Micheál’s retirement on Wednesday 29 May brought warm celebrations and tributes as customers, neighbours and friends wished them well and thanked them for many years of hospitality at the wonderful pub, which first opened its doors in 1830.

In a lovely tribute on social media, Mary and Micheál’s daughter Roisín Brennan captured the central role that Fleming’s plays in the village when she wrote: “This Wednesday sees the end of an era for our family and Fleming’s Bar in Ballylinan. Mam and dad start a new chapter after many years as fantastic publicans on Main Street. Our family wish to thank each and everyone who came through the doors over the years – young, old, wearing blue jerseys, yellow jerseys, green jerseys and many more. We hope you all will have as fond memories of fun, laughter, conversation, debates, arguments, singing and the odd late one behind closed doors as we all do!

“We are very proud of how our parents always conducted themselves as business people and publicans, and though I’m biased, I don’t think their likes will be seen again. The life of a publican is a difficult one, but mam and dad have loved every minute, working hard and making all feel welcome, dad in particular ensuring all were fed! As such, they now deserve to enjoy the next piece of the puzzle. I suspect they’ll never fully retire, but can enjoy new experiences together.

In conclusion, on behalf of myself and the lads, thank you to my parents for being superb, hardworking role models and allowing us all to experience life and make unforgettable memories in Fleming’s Bar. And while this is a very emotional week, it’s nice to think that one era ends and a new one begins.”

Mary, Micheál and the entire Fleming family thanked all of the pub’s loyal customers for their support over so many years, which was greatly appreciated. Mary will remain at the heart of community life, as she will continue to run the post office next door to the pub.

Meanwhile, the pub’s legacy is in good hands, as it has been taken over by another well-known local family. Richard Kingston, dad of Laois football star Donie, is looking forward to meeting customers as the pub continues to play a key role in the heart of the community

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By Carmel Hayes
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