Pub History

The Railway Inn bar stands in an original Georgian building, with public records referring to the building being owned by the McMahon family in 1794, suggesting the building was built at an earlier date. The building was left to Brigid McMahon in 1822 while her son in law John McGrath was listed in the Leinster Express as running a commercial business at the premises in 1837.

Called McGrath House, the pub served locals and visitors to the village, being positioned on the main road and close to the entrance to Sallins Railway Station which opened in 1846.

John McGrath ran the pub until his death in 1873, when it then passed to some of his children.  A daughter, Elizabeth (better known by her married name Bessie Reddy) eventually took over the licence in 1885, successfully managing the pub until she retired in1902.

Kids on Main Street in Sallins, County Kildare

At that point a niece of Bessie’s took over the day to day running of the business, while Bessie herself remained owner and resident in the premises until her death in 1935.

After Bessie’s passing, the pub was left to another niece, Anne Daly, who along with her husband Thomas remained at the helm until 1948, at which point Anne’s daughter Brigid and her husband Jack Kelly took over. Jack and Brigid sold the business upon their retirement in 1970.

The current owners, the Carroll family, purchased the business in 1977. The pub was known simply as “Ned’s” for many years, in reference to the late Ned Carroll who was a popular landlord, as well known for his witty quips as for his unwavering but unrewarded loyalty to his native county Laois GAA Gaelic football team.

Over the years, the Carroll family have carefully curated the premises with interesting items that will satisfy the curiosity of both local history and railway enthusiasts alike.

Railway Inn Timeline

When you visit the Railway Inn you are stepping into an old building that has a long and rich heritage as a public house.  Furthermore, over the years and throughout many significant events in local and national history it has remained a family owned business, open to both the local and visiting customers who passed through it’s doors to enjoy a welcome drink:


Grand Canal Sallins opens


Legal documents refer to ownership of the building by the McMahon family


Wolfe Tone is buried in Bodenstown Sallins


William McMahon leaves the property to his daughter Brigid McMahon


 Brigid McMahon marries John McGrath


Queen Victoria becomes Queen of Britain & Ireland


The Leinster Express records John McGrath as the commercial licence holder, and the pub is known as McGrath House


Sallins Railway Station opens


First organised group visits Wolfe Tone's Grave in Bodenstown, an annual tradition that continues to this day


John's daughter Elizabeth Reddy (nee McGrath) takes over the pub licence as grocer, wine and spirits merchant


Elizabeth (Bessie) Reddy retires, and remains resident in the house while family members continue to run the pub


Ireland declared an independent state


Bessie Reddy passes away and the pub is taken over by her niece Anne Daly (nee McKelvey) and her husband Thomas Daly Snr (ex R.I.C)


Upon the death of Thomas Daly Snr, his son Thomas Daly Jnr takes over the licence of McGrath House


Thomas Daly Jnr passes away suddenly and the pub is taken over by his sister Brigid and her husband Jack Kelly


Jack and Brigid Kelly run the pub for the next 32 years, eventually selling the pub upon their retirement.  It is bought by the Fanning family, who change the pub name from Kelly's to the Railway Inn and add the current lounge to the premises.


The Carroll Family purchase the Railway Inn, and current owner Claire Carroll continues the tradition of female stewardship of this historical pub and building