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Iconic Achill pub put up for sale

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ON THE MARKET The ‘For Sale’ sign has gone up on Gielty’s Pub in Achill.

Publican makes decision to spend more time with family

Anton McNulty

THE proprietor of Ireland’s most westerly pub has said his decision to put it up for sale is due to wanting to spent more time with his young family.
Alan Gielty of Gielty’s Clew Bay Bar and Restaurant in Dooagh on Achill Island announced over the weekend that the family owned pub is to go on the market.
The current Chairman of the Mayo branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, Gielty took over running of the family pub in 1999 and redeveloped it into a bar and restaurant along with a function room and coffee shop in 2005.

Lifestyle change
Speaking to The Mayo News following the announcement, he explained that it was always his intention to sell and with a young family he feels the time is right for a change in lifestyle.
“When I redeveloped it in 2005, I told everyone at the time that at 55 I am out of this game and I’m 53. It is not down to Covid. I have two young kids, a three-year-old and nine-month- old and I just want to spend time with them. That’s the reason to be honest.
“It wasn’t a decision due to Covid and it wasn’t a fast decision due to panic. I am in a unique situation in that I am selling because I want to sell, not because I want have to. The pub is a going concern which means it is making money and it is only the change of lifestyle I am looking for,” he said.
Gielty’s pub was founded by his late father Michael who, along with his late wife Sally, ran a thriving pub and B&B. The pub is regarded as the most westerly in Europe and is the last pub on the road to Keem Bay beach. In 2018, Gielty’s became the first pub in Ireland to install an electric car charger on its premises.
Alan is a qualified CIE international tour guide and before Covid he ran a heritage tour three days a week from Westport to Achill and plans to continue with this operation full-time after selling the business.
Alan confirmed that the business will continue trading up until the sale goes through and said that while he will miss the craic and meeting people who come through the doors, he looks forward to a more normal life.

Long hours
“I sure I will miss it but it is hard to know until you are gone. I’m sure I will miss all the craic and all the faces and stories but you mightn’t miss all the long hours. The pub game has always been the same. You are working when everyone else is off, you are working at Christmas and in the summer time, I remember when we were kids we never went anywhere in the summer because you had to make your money in the summer.
“There are people who are sorry it will go out of the family but you have to do what’s right for your own family. That is the way I am looking at it and I feel the time is right. It is a good business and the new owner will make a good living out of it,” he said.