The Longford Leader Community Pub of the Year awards took place in Fay’s Bar, Granard and it was an emotionally charged and hugely enjoyable evening.
The event went ahead in Fays’ as the Hall of Fame Award was posthumously presented to the late Carmel Fay, who passed away earlier this year. The publican, bookmaker and politican was a great champion for the Granard area and the bar trade and there was a sustained round of applause as her daughter Sinead accepted the award on behalf of her mother.
Joe Flaherty, MD at the Longford Leader, said the paper enjoyed a long and happy relationship with Carmel over many years and he said her passing was a huge loss to her family but also the wider Granard community, for whom she worked so hard. He said it was fitting that the nominated charity for the night would be the Granard Area Action Group, and added that the paper would be making a presentation to them in the coming weeks.
A total of twenty bars were named as finalists in the awards this year but it was the popular Begley’s Bar in Ennybegs, who came away with the overall award. A delighted Michael Begley accepted the award and he was accompanied by on the night by his daughter, Amanda, and her husband, Michael.
The Community Pub of the Year awards recognise bars who have excelled in the community and there was a huge show of public support for the Ennybegs bar. The runners-up were both in Longford town, Foley’s Bar on Ballymahon St and Coy’s Bar on Earl St.
The Bar Personality of the Year Award went to Martin Quinn of Kiernan’s Bar in Ballymahon whilst the runners-up were John Duignan of the Tally-ho in Longford town and Keith Curran of Kane’s bar, also Longford.
This year’s award for best Pint of Guinness was one of the most evenly contested since the awards began with just a handful of votes separating the top five bars. In the end the award went to Kearney’s of Curraghmore, Moydow and a delighted Conor Keenan accepted the award.
The other 13 bars who were finalists in this year’s awards were Casey’s Bar, Newtownforbes; Edward J Valentine’s, Longford; The Anvil, Longford; PV’s, Longford; Kane’s Bar, Granard; Bay Horse, Granard; Axel Foley’s, Drumlish; Sportsmans Inn, Edgeworthstown; Skelly’s bar, Ballymahon, The 98 Bar, Ballinamuck; Dillon’s Bar & Bistro, Ballinamuck; Magan’s Bar, Killashee; and the Breffni Arms Hotel, Arva.