Drink sales down at Molloys, but group remains in the black

Revenues at family-owned pub and off-licence company fall by 14% to just over €17m

The Foxes Covert pub in Tallaght, which now operates as Molloys Bar & Grill

The Molloys group of off-licences and pubs recorded a sharp drop in revenues in its last financial year, according to accounts recently filed.

The family-owned group, which operates seven off-licences in the Dublin area and a major pub complex in Tallaght in west Dublin, posted revenues of just over €17 million in the year to the end of January 2018, down by 14 per cent.

Molloy Holdings remains profitable and in a stable financial position, however, with net assets of €18.2 million and a pre-tax profit of €289,000, although returns were down by more than half on the prior year. The directors of the business said they are “satisfied” with the performance.

The group, which also includes a number of property investments, recorded a €225,000 gain on the sale of an investment property, while its investment portfolio was recently valued at €6.4 million on the basis of its €600,000 rent roll.


Staff numbers at the group dropped from 128 to 105 over the year.


As overall alcohol consumption has been on the wane in the Republic for more than a decade, traditional off-licences have faced challenges, especially from major grocery multiples, which are capable of implementing deep discounting on alcohol products.

The Molloys group is among the best-known off-sales groups in the capital. The family business has its genesis in the old Foxes Covert pub in Tallaght village, which was bought by a family member in the 1930s when it was still considered a rural location.

It also included a grocery store and the old ticket office for the Dublin & Blessington Steam Tram Company, which had only just stopped operations.

Kevin Molloy, the second generation of the family to become involved, took control of the business in the 1960s and developed it as the population in Tallaght exploded with new housing developments. Soon afterwards, he opened one of the first dedicated off-licences in Ireland on the Tallaght site.

Fox logo

The Molloys Liquor Stores concept was expanded in the 1980s and 1990s, and the group is easily recognised within the trade for its distinctive fox logo, a nod to its origins in the Foxes Covert. The pub now operates as Molloys Bar & Grill.

A third generation of the family, Richard Molloy, is now involved in the running of the business. Last summer, the group celebrated its 85th year in existence by launching a craft pale ale, Covert Operation, in conjunction with brewer YellowBelly Beer.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times