Hibernia Reit acquires Dublin pub Scruffy Murphy’s

Property investor may look to expand its residential portfolio on site

Property investor Hibernia Reit has acquired famed Dublin pub Scruffy Murphy’s off Mount Street Lower, in a deal understood to be worth about €2 million.

The well-known pub, which has been closed for some years, came to attention when a syndicate in the pub scooped the Lotto jackpot of some £2.4 million (€3m) in the early years of the prize draw, back in 1990.

In its latest trading update, Hibernia Reit said it has invested €2.7 million, excluding costs, in bolt-on acquisitions of properties since March 31st, 2021, but doesn’t specify the pub transaction.

Despite the mass exodus from offices due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the group appears to have weathered the storm.


Current projects include the recent completion of 2 Cumberland Place, which adds 58,000sq ft of new offices to its portfolio, while it recently disclosed it has agreed a prelet of the majority of its 337,000sq ft office development at Harcourt Square with professional services firm KPMG.

It is not clear what plans Hibernia Reit, which also owns a number of buildings at nearby Clanwilliam Court, may have for the Scruffy Murphy’s site, but it may target a residential build to rent scheme.

Before the pub was acquired by Hibernia Reit, owner Tim O'Connor had plans to knock Scruffy Murphy's down and replace with a 36-bed aparthotel above a ground-floor restaurant, bar or cafe. However, this was later blocked by An Bord Pleanála for a number of reasons, including the negative effect it would have on local residents.


Mr O'Connor has since turned his attention towards the suburbs, having recently acquired, along with Wendy O'Connor, Slattery's pub in Rathmines. The pub was sold by Roddy Slattery, whose family have traded from the premises for two generations, for a price understood to be close to €3 million, following competitive bidding involving several parties.

The market for pubs, despite Covid-19 restrictions which saw pubs open only in a limited capacity over the past 20 months or so, appears to remain strong – at least in sought-after locations.

Back in April, for example, London-based Attestor Capital and entrepreneurs Ray Byrne and Eoin Doyle acquired the city’s oldest pub, the Brazen Head, for €15 million, while earlier this month, JD Wetherspoon put its Blackrock pub, the Three Tun Tavern, on the market for €2.5 million.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times