Renowned Donegal pub to close - after 124 years in business

Another popular Donegal pub is about to close its doors …and it’s all down to the changing economic landscape and tough times being faced in the trade in rural Ireland.

The renowned McClafferty’s Bar in Churchill is to close on Halloween night, Monday, October 31.

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Customers were stunned on Sunday when they read the following notice on the pub’s Facebook page:
“It's with great sadness and deep consideration that we have decided to close the bar permanently. Some magnificent nights were had here and we will cherish those memories forever. Monday the 31st of October will be our last night open. We would like to thank all of you who have graced our door since the bar opened in 1892. Thank you all very much for your custom from all here at McClafferty's.”

Owner and local businessman, Charlie McClafferty (below) said he was sad to close but they had no choice.

“The business is not what is used to be and things are very quiet. We don’t want to close but we’ve no choice. The pub has been licensed in our family for 124 years and it will be the end of an era,” he said.

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The pub trade and in particular the rural pub trade has been hit hard over the last number of years. Many don’t open during the week at all while some hope to scrape through by only operating at weekends.

Sadly Donegal has been hardest hit in this respect.

But thankfully it’s not all doom and gloom. Charlie will be opening an off licence premises on Letterkenny’s Pearse Road where the McBride’s Betting Shop used to be (opposite Domino’s Pizzas) so the McClafferty link with the hospitality industry will continue.

Charlie said they were very grateful to all their customers over the years for their loyalty and support. He said they would remain open until Halloween night but that was it.

“There will be no big party or anything like that. We just want to go quietly,” he said.

The bar has been the scene of many great nights over the years, ranging from Churchill Fair Days to Glenswilly GAA club celebrations.

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