First opened in 1962 by James and Mary Doherty, the Davitt Lounge and Doherty’s Undertakers are one of the best known and recognised businesses in Straide. The pub was taken over by James’ son Padraic in 1987, who together with his wife Eileen, have run the business since.
The Davitt Lounge is the definition of a family business, with the fourth generation of the Doherty family still working there along with Padraic to this day.
“All of the family worked here at some stage. We would have gotten in locals to work also throughout our time here, but the family did a lot of the work”, he says.
Similarly, the undertaker side of the business is run by the family, with Padriac and his son Patrick running this together. Doherty’s Undertakers has been in existence since 1947 and has grown throughout the years.
The past 30 years has seen great change for rural Ireland, and subsequently the pub trade. While the Straide native reminisces on the good times in the community, he recognizes that he and other publicans are under more pressure in rural Ireland.
“When I first started here in 1987, you would have a crowd no matter what day of the week it was. You could have more people on a Monday than you would on a Saturday. That has changed now. The pub trade is a tough trade”, he explained.
“I do have some fond memories though. Mostly of the craic and the community.”