On Sunday morning May 7 2006, an old landmark at the Square in Skibbereen, Sheehy’s Bar, was razed to the ground.
Sheehy’s Bar had played an important part in the social and commercial life of Skibbereen for many, many years and was owned by a very prominent and long-established family in the town.
There are still quite a few people around who will remember that part of the Square when there were three shops on that site; that is pre-1950s. The three shops were Collins’s, nearest the Town Hall; Daly’s in the centre, and then Sheehy’s Bar on the outside. Around the corner at No. 1 High Street was another bar, Barry’s, which was where Sheehy’s-Hussey’s had their lounge in later years.
Older residents of Skibbereen will still remember Ellie Barry’s Bar at No. 1 High Street, a thriving little business in its day. For many years the bar was run by Ellie, and before that by her father Pat.
Ellie Barry died in February 1944 and the building at No. 1 High Street became vacant. In the mid-1950s the council knocked the building and unsettled the buildings adjoining in the Square and the gable of Sheehy’s Bar fell and so the three premises at the Square were rendered unsafe and had to be knocked.
The Sheehy family then brought the other two properties and also No. 1 High Street and developed it into what was Sheehy’s Bar and Lounge.
The Sheehy-Hussey family sold the property in 1992 when it was taken over by Jerry O’Sullivan who ran the bar there until he pulled his last pint there in April 2005.
The building was purchased in 2005 by Desmond Gibbons & Co. Accountants. The site was cleared on Sunday May 7 2006 and the new development on that prominent site in Skibbereen Town Square resembles, to a certain extent, what was there pre1950s, with three distinct shop fronts.
Every Skibbereen person has a memory of the Square or the Town Hall. Please share yours with us.
Were you ever photographed at the Square in Skibbereen? If you have a photo of any event at the Square, we’d also invite you to share it with us.