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The Story Of The Iconic Matt Molloy’s Pub In Westport

The Story Of The Iconic Matt Molloy’s Pub In Westport

Few Irish pubs boast a fame quite like Matt Molloy’s Pub in Westport Town.

And, while there are many pubs in Westport, Matt’s tends to be a beacon point for all visiting tourists.

Owned by a folk music legend, the pub is well-know for its red and gold exterior along with its nightly music sessions.

Some quick need-to-knows about Matt Molloy’s

Matt Molloys

Photos via Matt Molloys on FB


While Matt Malloy’s is an iconic pub, visiting it is as simple as popping down your local for a pint. Having said that, it’s worth going over the basics before you set out.

1. Location

You’ll find Matt Molloy’s Pub in the heart of Westport, a vibrant town on County Mayo’s west coast. The pub itself is on the bustling Bridge Street, famed for its colourful shop fronts that house an array of pubs, restaurants and cafes.

2. The Man Himself

If you’re a fan of Irish folk music, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Matt Molloy. A legendary flute player, Matt is perhaps best known as a member of The Chieftains, though he has formed and played in several other trad groups.

3. Trad 7 Nights a Week

As an icon of folk music, Matt knows a thing or two about getting the atmosphere right. His pub is cosy, with numerous nooks and crannies to slip into. Every night there’s live trad music. Intimate and lively, it’s a truly authentic experience.


The Story Behind Matt Molloy’s Pub

Matt Molloy first opened his pub in 1989. With no prior experience in hospitality, it was a gamble.

However, h knew exactly what kind of pub he wanted; somewhere with good acoustics, plenty of nooks and crannies, and something not too big.

Together with his late wife Geraldine and manager Seamus, he has managed to make the pub a roaring success over the past 30 or so years.

Nowadays, people come from around the world to sink a pint or two and enjoy the live traditional music being played each night.


About Matt

Matt Molloy started playing the flute at the age of eight. He grew up in North Connacht, an area renowned for producing some of Ireland’s best flute and fiddle players.

By the age of 18, he had already won the All-Ireland Flute Championship.

In the mid-60s he moved to Dublin to explore the folk music scene, playing in numerous groups at the time.

He was a founding member of the short-lived but epic Bothy Band, followed by a stint with Planxty and a string of collaborations with other artists. In 1979, he joined the Chieftains and is still a member to this day.

When he’s not touring, you’ll often find Matt joining in with the sessions or helping out behind the bar.


What to expect from the pub

Matt Malloy’s boasts a bustling atmosphere, good beer, and excellent nightly music in the back room. Everyone is welcome and there’s no charge beyond the price of a drink.

You’ll often get a good mix of locals and tourists in, yet the pub retains its authenticity. 

Sessions are often impromptu, with everything from German choirs to bluegrass tunes. If you’re a player, feel free to pop along and strike up a tune!

If you’re not there for the music, there are other parts of the pub to relax in. 

There’s no food on offer besides snacks, but with so many good restaurants in Westport, you’ll not go hungry.

The pub does get crowded, so it’s worth getting there early, especially if you want to secure a spot in the music room!


What to do near Matt Molloy’s

If you find yourself with a bit of time on your hands before or after a visit to Matt Molloy’s, you’re in luck.

There are countless great things to see and do in and around Westport. Here are a few ideas to start with.

1. Conquer Croagh Patrick

Croagh Patrick is one of Ireland’s most famous mountains.

It’s also a holy site that sees thousands of pilgrims making the journey to the summit each July in honour of St. Patrick, who is said to have fasted on the mountain.

The climb up is tough, but the views from the top make it well worth the effort.


2. Cycle the Great Western Greenway

The Great Western Greenway follows 44 km of former railway line from Westport to Achill Island.

Flat, well maintained and with loads to see and do along the way, it’s a must. Suitable for cyclists of all abilities, you can easily rent a bike in Westport and ride up to Newport and back.

Or if you’re up for the challenge, you can tackle the entire route.


3. Road trip over to Achill

Combining remote landscapes with bustling villages and stunning beaches, Achill Island is absolutely beautiful.

It’s well worth taking a drive over the bridge and seeing the sights. From hiking Ireland’s highest sea cliffs, Croaghaun Cliffs, to enjoying the surfing paradise of Keel Beach, there’s plenty to see and do.

The Atlantic Drive starts in Westport and takes in all of the best sights on Achill, making it a superb way to explore the island.


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