Circa 12th Century – The town of Drogheda’s walls are thought to date back until at least the 12th century. They formed a fortress around the town and, with them, as many as 10 gates were built to allow people in and out of the area.
Sunday’s Gate (or St Sunday’s Gate) was one of these gates. Situated in one of the oldest parts of the town, it provided a passageway to the north.
It got its name from the tradition of farmers and merchants from the surrounding hinterland visiting the town via the gate to sell their goods tax-free on Sundays.
Over the centuries, Sunday’s Gate was at the heart of Drogheda’s rich history. In late 1641 it would most likely have featured heavily in Siege of Drogheda, when Irish rebels traveling from Belfast to Dublin unsuccessfully attempted to storm the walls and capture the town.
Eight years later, the town was captured by the Cromwellian Army, who invaded from the south and massacred many of its inhabitants. As Cromwell and his army scythed through the town, the last of the resistance retreated to the tower at Sunday’s Gate, along with the West Gate tower.
When they eventually yielded, those who were not killed were shipped off to slavery in Barbados.
The beginning of Peggy Moores
Steeped in history
Peggy Moore’s is located at the intersection of Sunday’s Gate, Patrick’s Street and Magdalene Street, within quick walking distance from some of the most historic attractions in Drogheda, such as Magdalene Tower, Laurence’s Gate and Scholar’s Hotel.
Each part of the pub’s building has its own story, with the cottage at the rear of the pub dating back to 1898. The pub itself was first opened in 1908 by Peggy’s father, Michael, and was later taken over by Peggy, who extended the premises around 50 years ago.
The Moore Family
Upon opening, the premises served not merely as pub but also as a grocer. Michael described himself as a tea, wine, spirit and provisions merchant, and the Moore family played a vital role in the town over the decades that followed.
Michael was a master tea brewer and – as evidenced by the plethora of delivery boxes that decorate the walls of the present day pub – both Michael and Peggy were extremely adept at sourcing all sorts of food and a variety of provisions from all over the world.
He and his wife, Cecilia had four children; namely Peggy, Cecilia (Sissy), Thomas and Sean.
Sean, a keen boxer, became a civil servant and moved to Dublin. Thomas obtained a degree in physics and chemistry from University College Dublin and various remnants of his passion for science can still be found in the pub today.
Peggy took over the establishment from her father and ran it for almost 70 years. Peggy and Sissy were seen as leaders in the locality. The pub and grocers was at the heart of the community – providing the setting for some of the locals’ happiest memories and also playing a vital role when rationing was needed during more trying times.
Residents revelled in the everyday simplicities of life around Sunday’s Gate. Across the road from Peggy Moore’s, the green provided the setting for games of pitch & toss, while local football team Hardman Rangers called Peggy’s their home. Pub goers fondly remember the smell of Peggy and Sissy’s freshly baked bread and the cuts of cheese they’d hand out to their customers. Kids would regularly visit for a quarter of sweets and bottle of mineral.
Over the years, plenty of characters enriched Peggy’s pub on each side of the counter. Staff like Bridie Padgett, Jim Flood and, of course, Peter Finnegan, feature in many great stories of the time.
After Peggy’s death in the early 2000s, aged 95, the pub changed management on a couple of occasions before it was taken over by the McGowans in 2019.
Peggy Moores Today
Today, Peggy Moore’s blends over 100 years of history together with bright, spacious, modern design. During recent renovations, the McGowans stumbled upon a treasure trove of hundreds of items and historical records that had been kept in storage by the Moores.
Engrossed and excited by what they found, the new owners decided to weave everything they came across into the new design for the pub. The walls are decorated with original posters, photos and boxes from 100 years of deliveries and memories.
Every turn is a marvel, and each items brings the history of Peggy Moore’s and 20th century Ireland back to life.
The pub’s interior has been opened up into a large space that takes you through the front bar into the lounge, through the old cottage and back around again; newly renovated but with upcycled materials from the past and with much of the pub still in its original state.
Peggy Moore’s is back at the heart of the community again, serving up delicious food and drink, excellent live music, sport and plenty of craic.
Not only are the old traditions of cheese platters and quarters of sweets back, a range of loose teas and coffees are also on offer, ensuring Peggy’s is the perfect social setting for friends, locals and visitors to the area.
Our welcoming staff are always happy to take you through the incredible history of the Moores and Sunday’s Gate and we hope you are as enthralled by the stories as we are.