The end of an era in the Bailie Hotel as Patrick McEnaney the management and staff put in the final weekend before the Hotel closes to be reopened under new management. Seated Geraldine Jones, Patrick McEnaney and Bridie Costello, Back (from left) Brendan McEnaney, Catriona Keogan, Heidi Cahill, Kathleen Cooney, Maureen Campbell, Mary Finnegan and Paddy Gargan. More photos next week.Photo: Alex Coleman

New era for the Bailie Hotel

The Bailie Hotel is set to change hands today, bringing an end to the McEnaney ownership era. Luckily for the local community, it is to continue operating as a hotel.

Speaking about the family’s final days as owners, Patrick McEnaney said: “It’s been sad, obviously enough handing it over. We’re after doing 20 years, it’s emotional and it’s sad. You don’t realise it until you come to the final days.

“These days are difficult, leaving something after that length of time. We’ve been meeting people who have been wishing us the best of luck for the future. The workers would be more friends with us. We always got on well as a unit.”

The family purchased the Bailie 20 years ago and during the Covid years decided their stint was coming to an end.

“Probably when Covid came, the changes made us take stock and see if that’s really what we wanted after Covid and we decided it was time to move on and give it to someone else.”

Patrick revealed, to his relief, the Bailie was purchased by fellow Bailieborough man Austin Kelly.

“Austin Kelly bought it and he’s keeping the hotel going just as it is at the moment. He’s actually closing the rooms for a while alright to do a job on the rooms but the bar and food and all will be staying on as usual, which is great.”

Reminiscing about the past, some highlights stood out to Patrick.

“Padraig McEntyre held a fundraiser night here one night and it was one of the best nights we’ve had here. As well as that, Bailieborough Shamrocks won a good few matches and came back here for nights so that was very good. We had a couple of very good nights but listen, over the 20 years, it was all enjoyable.”

The McEnaney’s organised a staff night last Friday, followed by a final night of craic in the Bailie on Saturday.

“We’ve been very lucky with staff and with the locals and it’s sad leaving that whole thing, but everyone has to move on, life moves on and that’s it,” says Patrick.

On behalf of the six owners of the Bailie - himself, his three sisters Bridie, Mary and Geraldine, and silent partners Brendan and Seamus, Patrick thanked everyone who made the past two decades in the Bailie Hotel possible.

“I want to thank all our customers for all the support over the years, and I’d also like to say a very big thank you to the workers, we would never have been fit to do this only for the workers’ efforts they gave us over the years.

“I think one thing we’re really happy about is that we’re leaving as a family. We’re very happy to say that six people went into the thing together. It’s great the six people are leaving together with everybody as friends and everybody intact.”

Tonight (Wednesday) the McEnaney’s will close the door of the Bailie for the final time, handing the keys to Austin Kelly ahead of tomorrow morning’s reopening.