The Public House at the bridge has a fascinating story. Originally a thatched house the pub was run by Martin Cashin, a local public representative on Laois County Council after the Irish Civil War. He was chairman of the Council from the late 1920s to the early 1930s and used to cycle from Durrow to Portlaoise (Maryborough at that time) to attend the Council meetings. It is most appropriate therefore that a new Bicycle Museum has been formed as part of the present museum exhibits at the bar.
After his death, his son John became the licensee, and ran the pub as Martie’s Bar up until 2003 when he and his sister retired from the business. Both Marian Campion (present licensee) and her husband Bob were regular customers of Martie’s and it was most fitting that they have taken up the challenge to serve many of the regulars who loved the atmosphere of Martie’s Bar, as well as welcoming new faces, from near and afar, to their hospitable bar and its adjoining museum.
The Old Boat House was originally an external shed in John Cashin’s time, but it has been effectively incorporated within the premises and houses museum artifacts and photographic panels, as well as a reception area for visitors to the pub and the museum.
The room looks out on the stone cut arches over the Erkina river, with its wildlife and fauna.