A WELL known publican is calling last orders on his time behind the bar after 54 years.
John Moore, owner of Moore’s Well in Suncroft, pulled his last pint recently when friends, neighbours and loyal customers gathered to wish him well on his retirement.
John started out in the business on 3 July 1962 as a general merchant in O’Brien’s of Nurney. Here he learnt all sorts as the store traded as a post office, grocery, hardware, drapery and pub.
“Through my work here I was the post man in Nurney for a while and even milked the cows from time to time,” said John.
He stayed here for nine years and loved every second of it.
“I was free, easy and young. I didn’t care where the night fell on me,” he said.
The pint of Guinness at the time was one and seven pence and it was rare to see a lady in the pub.
“Things have changed so much since then,” he added.
John left O’Briens in 1971, when the pint of Guinness had risen to fourteen pence and took up a job in the new Keadeen Hotel. He worked for some time also in Aspells of Newbridge.
“That was totally different experience. I was then asked to manage Doyle’s pub in Suncroft and in March 1972 I started here.
“It was so different again, very country and very much community orientated. It took me a while to settle but eventually I did and that was over 44 years ago and I have been here ever since.”
John himself became very much a community figure and was particularly involved with the local GAA.
“We had some wonderful times,” he added.
He saw many changes over the years with the introduction of drafts and cooling systems. In 1962 when he started people mainly drank large bottles of stout but slowly and surely different habits and drinks were introduced.
“I’m still a Guinness man,” laughed John. “I still think it is the best drink on the market and the best value for money.”
He took over the leaseof the pub in 1985 from Mrs Merrion who then left the pub to John in 1999 when she passed away.
“She was a very generous lady to me and the entire community,” said John.
The long time publican said he had been thinking about retirement for a while for health reasons and now plans to return to his native Castlejordan in Co Meath to enjoy some time out.
“My body is telling me it’s time to take a rest,” he said.
“It’s time to relax now and I intend on going to lots and lots of football matches. I hope to do some socialising and visit people I haven’t managed to visit for a while. No doubt I will visit Suncroft every now and again.”
Customers and friends gathered in Moore’s Well for a final night with John behind the bar. Everyone wished him well and the best of luck to new owner, Italian national, Dominique Nicolai, who intends to continue with the pub’s tradition and position in the community.