October 31, 2020
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Closure of famous pub leaves ‘a void in the cultural life of South Kilkenny’

By COLIN BARTLEY

A GEM of a rural Kilkenny pub from a bygone era played out its last song and closed its doors for the final time last night.

Fittingly, Delaney’s at the Slate Quarries, near the old mining village of Ahenny, had one last session and then locked up.

The bar is as famous for being on every ‘Traditional Irish Pub’ posters sold around the globe as it is for its sessions and storytelling.

The Delaney family and pub, with its traditional style exterior – symmetrical with old carved wooden windows interrupted by double wooden doors in the centre, sitting below a charming glazed stone signage – welcomed all.

Inside, the wooden bar has remained as near to intact and authentic as you can get, with alcohol, tobacco, and grocery marketing all of an age long gone still adorning the walls. If only they could speak.

From nights dancing at the crossroads, or balladeers dropping by, people travelled from far and wide to experience the charm of the pub and former grocery store, nestled safely inside Kilkenny just yards from the border with Tipperary.

Local historian and seanchaí, Wattie Dunphy, told KilkennyNow.ie: “Generations of musicians, singers, performers, and dancers frequented this important establishment owned by the talented Delaney family.

“It was an emotional farewell for all the regulars who sang and played to a packed house for the last time. Its closure leaves a void in the cultural life of South Kilkenny and beyond.”

So with a fond farewell, and another link to the past closing, up to 25 musicians along with the punters joined in to toast owner John Delaney and his family for one last Thursday night session.

And with a parting glass, the doors forever closed.

PHOTO: The doors close for the last time in Delaney’s last night – Courtesy of Margaret Doyle

 

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