Fire destroys landmark Kerry pub reputed to be the highest in Ireland

Wed, May 23, 2012, 01:00

FIRE HAS destroyed the Top of Coom, which is perched on an elevated site east of Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, near the border with Cork and more than 1,000ft above sea level, and which is purported to be the highest pub in Ireland.

Patrons were in the pub when the fire broke out just after 9pm on Monday and were evacuated.

Owners Tim and Eileen Creedon and their three boys, who lived on the premises, escaped serious injury. However, Mr Creedon was brought to hospital by a neighbour to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire services from Killarney and Kenmare said the flames were “through the roof” by the time they arrived on the scene at about 9.30pm.

The pub was gutted by the fire.

The Creedons had extended the pub in recent years and had developed it as a landmark stop.

They also did a lot of charity work, organising the first charity run last summer between the highest Irish pub and the highest pub in England.

The pub was a popular location for watching All-Ireland clashes, particularly between Cork and Kerry.

Bedecked with a Kerry flag – it was just inside the Kerry border – it was proclaimed the highest pub in Ireland after a friendly rivalry with Johnny Fox’s pub in south Dublin in the past decade.

Michael Healy-Rae TD said the family had been hit with losing their home and their business all at once.

“Everyone in the country knows the pub. It is devastating for the family. This was not just their business: it was their family home,” he said.

“To lose everything in one short hour is devastating for the family.”

Personal belongings had been destroyed but no one was injured.

“But it’s devastating for a young family to lose all their possessions. It’s heartbreaking,” he said.

Mr Healy-Rae said they were a popular family and everyone would rally to support them.

A technical examination is under way to establish the cause of the fire.