THE twin communities of Ballina and Killaloe were united in mourning following the recent death of an “iconic” publican.
Marie Reddan (née McMahon), Main Street, Reddan’s Bar, Killaloe, and formerly of Castleconnell, County Limerick died peacefully at her residence in the loving care of her family.
Tributes have been paid to the 93 year-old, who was one of Killaloe’s best known and respected people.
Councillor Tony O’Brien described the former Ahane camogie player as an “iconic figure” in the life of Killaloe.
The Killaloe councillor stated Reddan’s pub is synonymous with family celebrations.
“It is a place we all gather to celebrate and indeed to mourn, it is a place where our families gather for a pint when our loved ones return home. A massive part of all those family and community gatherings was Mrs Reddan.
She ran a house of a thousand welcomes, a house of laughter and fun, which is known the world over.
“When meeting people who have visited Killaloe or talking to friends who have moved away a question I am regularly asked is ‘How is Mrs Reddan’.
“She had a roguish smile an ability to have a banter and craic with visitors and locals alike and of course wasn’t shy in letting us know when we stepped out of line.
“Mrs Reddan also had a kindness and a generous side and her support of people, and her sponsorship of many local clubs during lean times should not be forgotten.”
In an extensive interview with The Clare Champion, which coincided with her 90th birthday, she attributed her good health and longevity to hard work and healthy eating.
Living over the pub all her life, she loved her home place and took great comfort in the fact her son, Pat was only “ten minutes walk away” as well as the support from her grandchildren David and Rachel.
Patrons appreciate there were often three generations working behind the bar – Marie, Pat and David.
A lot of people regularly came in to the bar before Covid-19 restrictions just to meet Mrs Reddan and marvel at the fact she was still serving her loyal customers.
Reddan’s is regarded locally as a great sports pub where rugby and hurling patrons converge to watch big matches and debate the fortunes of various teams.
Her favourite pastime was playing 45 with her friends in the pub on a Sunday night.
An avid sports Munster Rugby follower, Mrs Reddan used to play camogie with Ahane in her younger days.
Ballina-Killaloe RFC stated in a tribute that Mrs Reddan, her son, Pat and all the family were great supporters of the club over the past decades.
One of the walls in the lounge is a mini rugby shrine with photographs and memorabilia from some of Munster and Ireland Rugby’s greatest days.
Mrs Reddan, who knew the Foley family well, recalled the late Munster Rugby Head Coach, Anthony Foley was in the pub having a drink three days before his untimely death in Paris in October 2016.
“I remember getting a telephone call in the pub when Anthony Foley died. It was very sad. I know Brendan and his family very well. Sure they are only up the road from us. They are always in and out.
“I am in the middle of rugby people. Keith Wood who is only two doors down from us while Damien Varley is also from Killaloe.”
Memorabilia includes a framed tie donated by Keith Wood’s father, Gordon, who played for Ireland against the All-Blacks and one of his opponents Keith Nelson, who met in Killaloe 20 years after their clash on the rugby field.
There is a limited edition of a South African jersey, an English rugby jersey signed by Martin Johnson, a jersey from Triple Crown U-21 winner in 1991, Marcus Horan, Munster and Ireland jerseys worn by Anthony Foley, Rugby World Cup 1995 and Keith Wood, Rugby World Cup
1999, Mark Ring, Wales rugby player as well as jerseys from Brendan Foley and his daughter, Rosie, Ireland Women’s Rugby international.
Numerous rugby photographs also adorn the wall including Ireland’s first victory over New Zealand on November 5, 2016; Munster’s historic victory over the All-Blacks in Thomond Park on October 31, 1978; Paul Wallace, Jeremy Davidson and Eric Miller.
Horse racing photographs take pride of place in the smoking area.
Reddan’s was purchased by Paddy Reddan in 1947. When the pub opened first, she recalled a pint of Guinness cost one shilling. It now costs €4.10.
She prided herself on pulling a very good pint with a shamrock on top in a “polished glass” for her regular patrons.
She recalled polishing glasses by hand when the pub closed every night before the advent of the dishwasher.
Visiting Lourdes for a nine-day trip, which was one of her favourite destinations, and became an annual pilgrimage.
She was predeceased by her husband, Paddy and grandson, Robert.
She is sadly missed by her loving son Pat, adored grandchildren Rachael and David, daughter-in-law Cindy, sister-in-law Josie, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and friends.
Burial took place in Reilig Lua following the celebration of a private Funeral Mass in St Flannan’s Church, Killaloe due to Covid-19 restrictions.
By Dan Danaher