Lilly’s Bar and Restaurant is the newest venue in Portlaoise and it has proven a big hit since it opened its doors to business last June.
On Friday night last, they held their official launch – with well-known faces from near and far stopping by to enjoy the night.
Alan Clancy from the NolaClan pub group is behind the venture with Portlaoise and Laois footballer Kieran Lillis as the proprietor and Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan also having an involvement. The name Lilly’s Bar is a play on Lillis’s name.
Brogan – a six-time All Ireland winner with Dublin – was in attendance on Friday night along with some of his Dublin colleagues Michael Dara MaCauley, Paul Flynn and Darren Daly.
As you’d expect there was a strong GAA presence. Among those in attendance were Lillis’s Portlaoise team-mates – like Ricky Maher, Graham Brody, Conor Boyle and manager Malachy McNulty – former Laois and Portlaoise player Colm Parkinson (now of Joe.ie fame and the nearby La Lolas Tapas restaurant), Stradbally and Laois players Colm and Paul Begley and Emo’s Darren Strong.
There was also GAA greats of a different era – Kieran Lillis’s dad Mick – a former Laois manager – and his wife Mary were present as well as Tom Prendergast and his wife Antoinette.
But there was a wide spread of sports people – Portlaoise Panthers stalwarts like Maeve Cahillane and Jack Scully and representatives from Portlaoise Rugby Club like Trevor Flanagan, Roy Glynn, Declan Kelly and Pat Hooban. Wendy Lowry, who is from the Pike of Rushall and wife of professional golfer Shane was also out with friends.
While the sports theme was strong, there was representatives too from local businesses – neighbouring pub owner PJ Kavanagh and his wife Niamh – and Laois Rose of Tralee organisers Steve Cronley and Lyn Moloney.
There was also a guest appearance from Pippa O’Connor and her husband Brian Ormonde – Pippa was in her Portlaoise for the weekend for her hugely popular Fashion Factory.
Music on the night was by the very talented Riff Shop.
Our photographer Julie Anne Miller was present to take a wide range of images.