Page 3 - The Kerry News 2019
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                it incorporated a bar.
Here, patrons could sample imported wines and spirits from Britain and the rest of Europe. The bar soon became a magnet
At one time Reidy’s bottled their own Guinness. While cleaning the building, Niamh and her team discovered hundreds of old bottles used by Reidy’s to bottle Guinness.
“We also found containers and jars that stocked sweets and other items. All these were individually cleaned and today are on display in JM Reidy’s. Visitors are always fascinated at the old till near the bar counter. This is over 200 years old and is in perfect working order, however its readings is in the pre decimal era. Located close by is a Weighing Scales, used over 100 years ago, to weigh flour, sweets and other goods, that arrived in boxes and were sold in smaller quantities to customers, again the readings are in pounds and ounces.”
KERRY NEWS CHRISTMAS 2019
3
 JM Reidy’s
‘a gem in the Killarney tourism crown’ by Con Dennehy
  Stepping back in time and exploring the history and culture that has formed part of the social fabric of Killarney is one of the unique features that captivates locals and tourists when they pass through the doors of an iconic building in the heart of Killarney town.
JM Reidys, the most photographed building in Killarney, was built in the 1870’s. It served as a hardware store, agricultural supply store, grocers, bakery and flour merchant. You won’t find flour stored or horses stabled in JM Reidy’s today, but once inside the doors of this award winning idyllic wonderland, visitors will have the opportunity to explore 150 years of history featuring original letter, ledger books, memorabilia and shop equipment in comfortable surroundings, including the traditional “Snugs”, serving an extensive food menu, drinks, homemade desserts, coffees and teas.
The opening of Reidy’s coincided with many world wide events including General Custer’s last stand, Queen Victoria became Empress of India and the telephone was invented. The building, now a protected structure and listed on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, was once
home to three shops. Number 3 was a hardware shop and agricultural supply store, number 4 was a grocer’s, and number 5 was a bakery and flour merchant. Horses were stabled behind the shops and used two gates on Main Street and one on New Street to make deliveries around the town.
for the social life of the town and the most important element of the business. When Mr. Reidy died, he left the business to Callaghan and Delia Sheahan, who managed the operation until 1974, when it passed to their children Michael and Marie Sheahan. J.M. Reidy’s reopened in June 2017, and is operated by the Sheahan Group, a family run business.
One of the Snugs on the premises today was originally Mrs. Reidys office. The safe she used is still in situ and the glass panel where she observed happenings on the shop floor is still operational.
“The business was a bustling hub of trade in the town, selling both local and imported goods to the public, traders, farmers, high- profile hotels, and local religious institutions. Indeed many of the entries in the ledgers and in the letters we found when we took over the premises alluded to this and have given us a wonderful insight into the type of business J.M.Reidy’s operated and the lives people lived in Killarney more than 100 years ago.” said Niamh Sheahan.
“We have worked exceptionally hard to link the past with the present. The pub and the sweet shop went hand in hand many years ago. Today we still have
Staff at JM Reidys Killarney from left, Aoife Sheahan (Dromid), Roisin O’Connell (Killarney) and Niamh O’Connor (Milltown).
 Checking out one of the many Ledgers and the old till are Diane Breen (Beaufort), Niamh Sheahan and Ronan Walsh (Kilcummin).
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              WE BACK BELIEF
John M. Reidy returned from his adventures in Australia in the late 19th century to take over the family business. It was renovated in 1890 to include the decorative pilaster shop front so beloved of souvenir hunters today. Reidy’s grocery department had one feature that you won’t find in many modern supermarkets,
“When we took over the property we were keen to ensure the original features were preserved. We worked closely with Conservation Consultants who advised us on all aspects of preserving the building, its unique counters, floors, and the old shelves and cupboards. They advised and worked with us to ensure all the woodwork was treated with natural products and were retained in pristine condition just as they were 100 years ago. We were also advised to retain the blue tiled floor inside the door. Tar was used to lay theses tiles more than 100 years ago. ”
Dear Sir,
sweets and these are displayed on the main window in jars. We can bag them in various quantities to the customer’s specifications. The Sweetshop Pub was always unique in that whilst it was laid out as a sweetshop to the front selling a mix from Bon Bons and Black Liquorice to Rosie Apple Drops, there was a curios bar to the back where they would sell selected spirits and beers. Today J.M. Reidys cafe offers high quality speciality coffee produced by skilled baristas together with a large selection of homemade pastries and
treats, baked daily on-site in Mrs Reidys Bakery. This is another link with Mrs. Reidy whose photograph is on the wall inside the main entrance.” Currently employing a staff of 75, J.M. Reidys is part of every visitors bucket lists when they visit the town. Their attention to detail and high standards of customer service has been rewarded when they were presented with the 2019 National Best Indoor and Outdoor Bar of the Year Award and the 2019 Best Newcomer Bar in Ireland.
We beg to acknowledge one pair of Ladies wool knickers received on 13th of the 11th. With kind regards
 Inside the door of JM Reidys visitors can view a History Wall containing letters and photographs dating back to the 1800s.
One letter dated the 11th of June 1942 was from A. Grant Drapery in Cork and is a source of laughter and comment.
 Niamh Sheahan near one of the old ovens checking out one of the many Ledgers at JM Reidys.
































































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