02 Oct 2022

Moneygall in mourning as legendary publican passes away

She beamed when US President Barack Obama visited in 2011

Moneygall in mourning as legendary publican passes away

Moneygall in mourning as legendary publican passes away

The village of Moneygall in South Offaly is in mourning after the passing of publican Julia Hayes over the weekend.

Hayes ran her small bar on the main street since 1987, and at the age of 80 in 2011, was delighted when then US President Barack Obama visited her village.

Moneygall is now famed as the ancestral home of Obama, who served as US president for eight years from 2008 to 2016. She beamed upon his arrival and described him as "a very handsome man."

A photograph of her holding a US flag in her home in Moneygall hangs in the Barack Obama Plaza visitor centre. 

Julia Hayes' bar was a gateway to old Ireland; its understated shop front was as quiet and unassuming as its humble occupant. Her nature was renowned and the welcome at J Hayes bar was as fine as any establishment in the country. 

Tributes have been flooding in for Julia Hayes, and the Moneygall community Facebook page posted these poignant words, "Last Call in Moneygall as we wake today to the sad news of the passing of Julia Hayes."

In the many kind words shared about her, Julia was described as a "lovely lady," kind and welcoming. 

One comment read, "She was a true lady, great craic and a dab hand at the ‘auld cards. She will be sadly missed." Another recalled fond days of "cups of tea in the back kitchen," while another reminisced, "Julia was always so kind, from my childhood days in Shinrone to the times I visited Monegall over the years." 

Julia is deeply regretted by her loving husband, Joe, his son Kevin, granddaughters Carol, and Emer, son-in-law, Tim, sisters and brothers, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.

She will be reposing at Donovan's funeral home, Moneygall on Tuesday evening from 4 to 6.30pm with removal to St. Joseph's Church arriving at 7pm. Funeral Mass on Wednesday at 12 noon and burial afterwards in Lorrha Cemetery.

If you have a story for us, sports news, an event happening in your area, or if you want to submit pictures or videos, contact the Offaly Express team via email to, or through our Facebook. 

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