History

Moran's Oyster Cottage

'There is no better Oyster than one eats in Moran's Bar.
And people always come back here from foreign lands afar.
Their Oysters are tremendous, and their other shellfish too.
But try some Irish Coffee which can do such good for you.
Then after all these Oysters and the Whiskey you drink here,
You might see mermaids gently swimming in the Weir.'

(Inscription on wall in Morans Oyster Cottage)

Moran's is a Family Business dating back more than 250 years. In the 1800's it did a flourishing trade when Kilcolgan was a prosperous little port.

Today, thanks to the tremendous upsurge of interest in Seafood - Moran's - still a Family business is the sixth generation is a must for anybody with an interest in sampling the crustaceous delights of Galway Bay.

Willie & Michael Moran
Willie & Michael Moran

Oysters are the speciality of the house and Willie, Vincent and Gerry have held the International and World Titles in Oyster Opening Competitions.

The Menu has been extended to include Crab, Lobster, Prawns, Smoked Salmon and Mussels.

Situated on an inlet of Galway Bay, 11 miles from the City of Galway - this picturesque thatched Cottage has seen may famous people like Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Woody Allen and the Emperor and Empress of Japan - to name but a few.

The team...

Members of staff: Our staff include Vincent Graham who has worked with Moran's for the past 22 years, Martin Kilkelly 17 years, Mary Burke 13 years, Marion O'Donnell 12 years. Our Chefs are Paul McCarthy 3 years, and Geraldine Fallon 11 years.

The story begins here...

Al Byrne, a Guinness Rep and a brother of Gay Byrne (RTE), thought it would be a good idea to have his Guinness party at Moran's during the Oyster Festival of 1966.

The first barrel of draught Guinness was brought to The Weir. Previously, Moran's had bottled Guinness only. Oysters were supplied from our own Oyster Beds and lashings of brown bread was baked by Kitty Moran. With the addition of Guinness, the party began.

Twenty people enjoyed the event on a glorious September evening. The following day our first write-up appeared in The Press, about how a beautiful pub was discovered 'in the middle of nowhere'.

We realised we had something special and it developed from there. It was a business that started and could not be stopped. Smoked salmon, fresh salmon and mussels were added to the menu. In time this slowly expanded to include crab prawns and lobster. We did not advertise as we felt that good quality food served in a friendly atmosphere was advertising enough.

 

THE WEIR
The Weir was named after an old wall constructed across the nearby tidal Dunkellin river to trap salmon. Local people also dredged for Galway Bay Oysters from the nearby Oyster Beds. Throughout the 1800's large boats (Galway Bay Hookers) brought turf (Peat) from the bogs of Connemara and seaweed which was a natural soil fertilizer from the Aran Islands.

Local farmers would come with horse drawn carts to buy turf for Winter fires and seaweed for their farms. This was thirsty work and could only be satisfied with a pint of Guinness or a glass of whiskey. Three of the nine houses in The Weir acquired liquor licenses and a flourishing trade was done for years.

Daniel Moran who came to the village in the 1760's held one of these licenses. This was passed down through six generations to the present day.

During the 1940's sea trade took a different turn as the turf haulage started to be done by lorry so this meant that all the fine turf boats were left idle and faded away. The business at Morans went into decline until 1966 when the Galway Oyster Festival committee included Moran's.

 


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