Press Up to take over Ashtons in Clonskeagh in January

Landmark south Dublin pub is latest acquisition by Irish hospitality group

Ashtons, the landmark Clonskeagh pub, has been acquired by Irish hospitality group Press Up, known for its Union Cafe and Elephant & Castle eateries and design-led hotels.

The pub, which lies beside the River Dodder and is popular for its beer garden, function rooms, craft beers and extensive menu, will continue to trade under its existing name.

Ashtons was taken over in 2012 by Ronan Kinsella and Paul Lenehan, who also own and operate Hartes of Kildare in Kildare town and the Dew Drop Inn, in Kill Co Kildare. During this time they acquired a restaurant licence for the premises and invested in a new patio and terrace area. However, their 10-year lease is up and has now been acquired by the Press Up Group.

A spokeswoman for Press Up says the group will take over the lease in January and that the pub will continue to trade under the Ashtons name. It will continue to trade as normal, with no closure for renovations, at least in the short-term.


The move is the latest in a long line of developments for the Press Up group, run by Paddy McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan.

Acquisitions in recent years include the four-star Clarence Hotel in Dublin's Temple Bar – the leasehold interest in which was acquired from Bono, the Edge and Paddy McKillen snr in 2019 – and Larry Murphy's pub on Baggot Street, which it acquired for more than €1.7 million earlier this year.

The group recently opened MacKenzies restaurant in the Opus building on Dublin’s docklands, while future plans include the development of a bowling alley in Dundrum Town Centre, and Bray Central, which will be home to a multi-screen Stella Cinema, bowling, and Elephant & Castle and Wowburger outlets.

The Dean Galway, a sister hotel to the one in Dublin, is due to open in January 2022.


Meanwhile in Foxrock, south Dublin, another local landmark, The Gables, is getting an extensive renovation under its new owner.

During the summer, planning was sought by Haffenal Limited, of which Alan Clancy is a director, for works at the restaurant, which closed under its previous operators earlier this year. Mr Clancy runs the Nolaclan hospitality group, which includes 37 on Dawson Street and House on Leeson Street in its portfolio.

The works include the removal of off street car parking, and the creation of an outdoor dining area with pergola overhead.

The location looks likely to retain its name however, with the windows recently stencilled with The Gables.

Earlier this year Mr Clancy acquired the Old Bonded Warehouse in Tullamore from Tullamore Dew distillers, William Grant & Sons, with his business partner, golfer Shane Lowry.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

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