Kennedys – Our Story
For more than a century there has been a pub standing on the site of Kennedys in Drumcondra. From ancient times, the Drumcondra Road was always one of the main routes into Dublin and its only natural that one of the oldest pubs in Drumcondra would be established on this spot.
In 1961 Tom Kennedy took over ownership of the pub which was then called McPhillips. A proud Upperchurch man, Tom’s first foray into the pub trade was a licensed premises he ran on George’s Quay on the site of what is now the Ulster Bank building. He then moved up to Prussia Street where he ran a successful premises but in 1961 the opportunity to buy the pub now known as Kennedys arose and Tom jumped at the chance to establish himself in one of the premier pubs of Drumcondra. From dya one, Tom worked on building up Kennedys into the Drumcondra institution that it is now. His son Michael joined him in 1970 and the pub remained in the family for the next 46 years. Taken over by Martin and Paddy in 2016, there was never any doubt that this famous institution was going to remain as Kennedys and Martin and the team are now working at bringing Kennedys to the next level, making your city home from home feel that little bit extra special.
History of Drumcondra
Drumcondra is a residential area and inner suburb on the Northside of Dublin, Ireland. It is administered by Dublin City Council. The River Tolka and the Royal Canal flow through the area.
A site on the Upper Drumcondra Road was the site of an old postal stop and the point at which rebels, during the 1798 rebellion, seized a postal cart in order to signal to others in north County Dublin to revolt.
One of the main sights of Drumcondra is Croke Park, where Ireland’s national games of Gaelic football and hurling may be seen. Boasting a capacity for 82,300 people, it is one of the largest sports stadiums in Europe.’Croker’ is the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association and also houses the official GAA Museum (on St Josephs Avenue, which is off Clonliffe Road). The stadium has the right to host the final matches of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. The stadium itself is only a 10 minute stroll from Kennedys.
Many famous people have lived in Drumcondra, such as James Joyce, Sean O’Casey, Dermot Bolger, Eamon Dunphy, Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones), Fintan O’Toole and Eoin Hand (Ireland Manager, 1980-1985).
Kennedys for Sports
Kennedys has always been a hub for sports people, whether you were there to watch a match or to play. Closely located to Shelbourne FC’s famous grounds, the pub was frequented by many famous soccer players, including the likes of the Irish squad who played in Italia 90. But it’s proximity to Croke Park meant that it’s always been associated with GAA Headquarters and has traditionally attracted crowds on their way to matches. GAA fans from all counties have always considered Kennedys to be their Dublin home. The Dublin team of the 70’s and 80’s also frequented the pub on a regular basis and created many happy memories within our walls. In fact, so close is the association between Kennedys and the Dublin team of the late 60’s and 70’s that the Dublin GAA supporters club was founded in Kennedys in 1969. Kennedys has also seen a rise in people coming to watch matches in the pub and there has always been a screen somewhere in the pub showing a match!
Kennedys for Music
While sports has always been the beating heart of the pub, music has been it’s soul. The Saturday night session is well established with many famous people playing gigs there, such as Pete St John, Paul Harrington and Shay Healy. The list goes on but let’s just say, we’ve always loved a bit of a tune here! And being close to Croke Park, we’ve always been an integral part of anybody’s visit to Dublin for a gig in Croke Park, with entertainment after these events always on.
We’ve seen our fair share of famous people pass through our doors, with the likes of Michael Fassbender being a past patron and lets not forget the time in 1998 that Roger Moore flexed his considerable acting muscles whilst making a beer commercial in the bar. Let’s just say we were shaken by the 007 legend, not stirred…
And lastly, did you know that besides our close ties to to many pubs around Ireland, we’re also twinned with The Shamrock Pub in Newfoundland, Canada!’