Venues as popular as Dicey Reilly’s just don’t come into existence overnight. The hostelry dates back to 1856 when Micheal Gavigan first open the doors of the pub.
Indeed the building was also the home of Margaret Delap who was later to become the wife of Thomas Barton of Barton and Guestier fame.
The pub has since undergone a series of ownership changes and made its mark in the middle of the last century as a pub frequented by fishermen. Given Ballyshannon’s history as a port town, this was no surprise and Dicey’s, then known as “The Anchor Bar”, became known as a spot where the angler could rest and converse about the day’s events at sea. “The one that got away” was a frequent theme of the time!
The bar also had an exemption order under the Intoxicating Liquor Act which effectively permitted a late drink to the thirsty fisherman. Guinness was bottled on the premises in those days and whiskey was delivered in barrels before being bottled. Changed times indeed!
The bar was in the name of the late James Grimes during these years (1945-67) and the names of James McCaffrey and John Burke were both to appear on the deeds before John O’Reilly assumed control in 1975, on Friday, December 5th to be specific.