Royal Oak Village, Carlow
Royal Oak is situated close to Bagenalstown
and was originally an inn at the junction of two roads. The traveller
going south could take the left fork to Goresbridge, Graiguenamanagh and
to County Wexford or the right fork to Kilkenny and Munster.
The Royal Oak Tavern
- Matty Byrne - Ted Mc Cormac - (and his 2
Another great feature of
Bagenalstown in The Royal Oak Tavern, a pub steeped in history. As
far back as 1812 there are references to the pub in a book on an
archaeologist study of limestone areas in Ireland. Now owned by Matty
Byrne, of course the locals just call it Matty's
William Fitzpatrick was born in 1879 and died in 1935. We are not sure
how he got to own the pub but what we do know is that he was a carpenter
by trade and he used the hotel across the road as his workplace. He was
evicted from his home in Heath, Currenree (a local area). As far as we
know he was an alcoholic and when he died the pub was left to Mary Brennan
in 1904. She cleaned the place up a little and did a good
trade. Then she married, in 1912, a man called Thomas Byrne.
He was born in what was then known as Kings Street in Kilkenny, and
grew up was in an area called Frynes town, and owned a small piece of land
in that area. This land was sold in 1927/8. There are also two petrol pumps
across the road from the pub, which were put into operation in 1931, which
sold petrol at 8½ pence a gallon.
- Me ma and gang in the
- This was serviced
by a petrol company called MEX. A man called Mc. Mullen founded this
company in 1894.
- He started off
selling oil from door to door. Harry Ewing, a rep for MEX, looked
after this our petrol station in the Royal Oak.
William Fitzpatrick was born in 1879 - 1935.
He was a carpenter by trade and acquired the pub during his life. When he
passed away it was left to Mary Brennan in 1904. She cleaned the place up
a little and did a good trade. Then she married, in 1912, a man called
Thomas Byrne. And it has been owned by Byrne's ever since!
There was also a hotel built in 1740 just
across from the current pub, which was knocked in 1974. This was then
owned by Thomas Byrne (Matty's Father),and used to serve as a coach stop
(Run by a man called Bianconi, who was a stowaway on a ship bound for
Ireland, and later made his fortune with his coach service. He Retired in
Co.Clare) , to feed and rest horses. (see
Also a man called William Makepiece Tackery, a
writer slept at the hotel as did Daniel O'Connell (around 1800).
True story or not? The Royal Oak got its name
when King James hid in a tree there. There was also a school and town hall
here in the Royal Oak village.
- The Hotel and the petrol pumps.
Clonmel was the starting point for
Bianconi's coach business which began from Hearn's hotel in 1815 and soon
became the most successful coach business in Ireland. Annual celebrations
to commemorate Bianconi's achievements take place on Clonmel's streets
every July 6th.
If you want to read more about the history of
The Royal Oak and view some great images then you can visit Matty's web