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Irish-American woman reveals how Irish pub owner saved father’s life

Irish-American woman reveals how Irish pub owner saved father’s life

An Irish-American woman has revealed that the kindness of a Mayo pub owner saved her father’s life while both men were working on a London construction site. 

Chicago resident Fiona Murphy took to Twitter to document how her father John Murphy used to insist on visiting P. Moore’s pub in Swinford, County Mayo, every time he took her home to visit family in Ireland. 

She added that her father explained his reasons for visiting the pub when she was young but that she never properly paid attention to his stories, prompting her to track down the story behind her father’s particular fondness for visiting the establishment. 

She visited the pub last week and revealed that the young bartender “unsurprisingly” had no information about her father’s past visits to the bar. 

At a dead-end, Fiona visited Campbell’s Pub across the road and found the answers she was looking for, causing the memories to come flooding back. 

“The proprietor said, “They might have known each other from a building site in England…” and my tears stopped him. That was all it took for the door holding back the memories to get kicked open,” Fiona said on Twitter. 

Fiona added that her father traveled to the UK at the age of 14 looking for work to support his elderly mother back home in Charlestown, County Mayo. 

“He had lost his father at four, there were no siblings and he was taking care of his mother back in Charlestown,” she told Newstalk. 

John Murphy’s job search took him to London, where he found work on a building site working for foreman Paddy Moore. 

John was a sickly 14-year-old who had recently recovered from polio and arrived at the site coughing up blood and barely able to stand up without collapsing. 

“The man who owned this pub in Swinford— P Moore— was in charge of him at the site. He used to hide my father and make excuses— “I sent John on an errand for me”— whenever the higher-ups were around,” she wrote on Twitter. 

Please pardon the sentimental indulgence but my mind is on something far away from me that happened recently. Growing up, my father always insisted that we stop by this pub when back in 🇮🇪. It was non-negotiable— even when keeping our heads ducked low for a covert visit to pic.twitter.com/47eCQLzcOe


— Fiona (@GenXBanshee) January 5, 2022

She added that Moore didn’t want her father to go without pay or see him lose his job.

“He saved my father’s life and set the stage for the lives all of us – my three children included – have been able to enjoy, through the kindness and the grace he showed this child so long ago,” she told Newstalk. 

John Murphy died in 1998 following a battle with cancer, Fiona revealed on Twitter. 

She told Newstalk that Ireland’s greatest asset is its small-town communities, stating that the country’s natural connections cannot be repeated anywhere else. 


https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/woman-irish-pub-owner-saved-father