Joseph Maher

(08/08/1880 - 23/04/1939)

Joseph Maher, baptised 8th August 1880, son of John Maher and Bridget Maher in Shanakill, Clonmore, Tipperary. He grew up in Tipperary working in a grocers and moved to Dublin to work with another Maher family, Michael and William Maher from Templemore, Tipperary in 1900 to work in a grocer/pub located on Lower Baggot Street which they operated from 1894 up until 1909.

In the 1911 census, Joseph is working in another pub, as foreman the Grattan House in Drumcondra run by another Maher family. The owner John Maher, was also from Tipperary and married Catherine Temple who’s family owned the Botanic House pub in Glasnevin. It is not clear how John and Joseph are related. Grattan House still exists and the family owned and ran the pub up until 1938.

In 1915, a pub/grocers at 35 Upper Clanbrassil Street(Now Harold House pub)  can up for sale and Joseph Maher became the licence holder of the pub. It is unclear how he financed this.

Joseph married Eleanor Cleary from Bridge House, Borrisokane, Tipperary in Phibsborough on June 18th 1919. They had the following children Joseph Oliver (1920), Bridget(1921), Mary Angela(1922), Carmel, Rhona, Patrick, Francis, Thomas(1929), Michael(1931), Vincent(1934). They moved into a large house – Westfield House in Harold’s Cross in 1922.

In 1932, Joseph Maher bought “The Hut” pub in Phibsboro and the pub in Clanbrassil Street was transferred to the manager of The Hut – Thomas Kennedy. The Hut pub was owned by the late Margaret Temple, a relative of Catherine Maher(nee Temple) who owned the Grattan House.

The Tipperary newspapers announced the news:

“DUBLIN PURCHASE BY CLONMORE MAN – The licensed premises known as the “Hut” Phibsboro Dublin, which have been on the market recently has been purchased by Mr. Joseph Maher, Harold’s Cross Bridge, Dublin for the sum of £10,000. Mr Maher is a native on Shanakill, Clonmore, and served his apprenticeship to the grocery and sprit business in Roscrea. He subsquently went to the Metropolis where he has a most successful commercial career”

In mid 1930s he bought Mangan’s pub, 1-3 Crumlin Road. He changed the name to Mahers “Bridge House”, in tribute to the name of the house his wife was raised in but also that it was located close by Camac Bridge. The pub was located on the green space that is located opposite Maxol, Seagull House and the fire station.

In 1938, due to the Crumlin Housing Scheme being initiated by Herbert Simms at the time, the council put in a compulsory purchase order to buy the pub much to Joseph’s dismay. He argued that a similar size site in the area should be provided

“Mr. John A. Costello., who with Mr. P. McGilligan (instructed by Messrs. Meagher, stated that he would put forward the proposition that on the new corner, where the road would eventually emerge. Mr. Meagher should be given a site by the Corporation. Mr. Meagher had paid £7,600 for the premises, and was making £2.000 a year out of them. If It was possible for the Corporation to give Mr. Meagher that alternative site, he was prepared to spend the sum of £6,000 in rebuilding and re-fitting th3 new licensed premises. In reply to Mr. Rice, Mr. Meagher stated that when he bought the premises in 1935, he did not think there was any scheme contemplated at that time. Mr. ‘ M. J. McNally, auditor and accountant stated that there was a net profit from the premises for six and a-half months of £1,100. The net profit for the year would not. be less than £2,000.”

Tragically, Joseph Maher died aged 58 on April 23rd 1939 while living in Westfield House, Harold’s Cross. His funeral mass was in St. Peter’s Church Phibsborough and he was buried in Glasnevin.

On July 13th 1941, a bus crashed into the front of the Bridge House:

This bus crashed into a licensed house at Dolphin’s Barn Bridge, Dublin, after a collision. A ‘BUS, diverted from its course after being in a collision with a private motor car at Dolphin’s Barn Bridge, Dublin, at 7.10 last evening, crashed into a licensed premises. The driver of the private car, Mr. James Gleeson, Tyrconnell Rd, Inchicore, who was rendered unconscious, was taken to the Meath Hospital. Six women, out of the eleven passengers in the bus. suffered shock, but were discharged from the Meath Hospital after treatment. The driver of the bus, Mr. John Saunders, though badly shaken, sustained no serious injury and with the conductor Mr. Joseph Galvin, facilitated the Gardai. The bus crashed into the licensed premises of Mr. Joseph Maher, Bridge House, broke down the front counter and the nearest partition, and came to a halt when its top had Jammed against the lintel. About 12 feet of .the bus penetrated the house. The private car, proceeding along the canal-side towards the city from the direction of Herberton Bridge, was crossing on the county side of the bridge when the collision occurred. The people treated and discharged from. the Meath Hospital were: Mrs. Margaret Tate, Dolphin’s Barn St.; Bridget Duff. Faughart Rd.. Crumlin; Angela Sutton, Upper. Leeson St.; Letitia Foley, Durrow Rd., Crumlin; Winnie McCarthy, Clonard Rd., Kimmage; Vera Moore, Kildare Rd., Crumlin. Early this morning Mr. Gleeson had regained consciousness and was improving somewhat.


The original pub was demolished in 1943 due to the building of the Crumlin Housing scheme.  His son James took over the licence and indeed the pub was moved to 18 Crumlin Road which remained as a pub up until recently.

The family continued to live at Westfield House and many of the children married in late 40s/50s – Rhona (1949), Patrick (1950), Angela(1950), Oliver(1957). Oliver took over the running of the pub in 1957. Oliver continued to live in Westfield House.

The pub at 18 Crumlin Road was demolished in 2018 to make way for the expansion of a petrol station and Burger King. restaurant.

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