About The Market Bar

The Market Bar is a family run business with an emphasis on providing a warm inviting place for people to meet. It is the vision of Noel Snr – known to all and sundry as Daddy Noel- and the culmination of many years in the hospitality business.

Despite the many challenges being experienced in the trade the Market Bar continues to strive for excellence providing locals and visitors alike with a comfortable place in which to gather and listen to many of Drogheda’s excellent bands, watch their team play or catch up with friends and family.

The pub continues to maintain the high standards in both surroundings and service as envisioned by Noel and his late wife Evelyn when they first started in business.

The emphasis is very much on ‘family’. It is both a family run business and a place where customers and staff are considered part of the family. This is evident in the warm welcome received by patrons on entering, where, as the song says ‘everybody knows your name’

A little History

His experience in the building and renovating trade in England provided him with ability to see beyond the façade of a building and recognise its potential. So when he happened upon a tired building in need of some badly needed attention on the corner of Magdalene Street he knew this was the one. He set about bringing the building back to its original state with the aid of talented local craftsmen and the beautiful stone façade was painstakingly revealed in all its glory. This high standard of renovation was extended to the interior and the work completed has more than stood the test of time as it is now a well known and loved landmark, bringing character to the upper region of the town. For many months of the year the building is bedecked with an abundance of flowers and foliage that bring a smile to everyone that sees it.


The Market Bar is a family run public bar with a seven day licence. It is a business which has been developed over the years by the vision and passion of Noel Nugent senior, a local Pearse Park man who had previously had pubs in Monaghan and Meath before returning to his home town over thirty years ago. Like many before him he left Ireland to seek out work in England, and it was here that he developed his interest in the hospitality business. But even prior to this he remembers as a child, his father going to the pub for a few pints on a Saturday night and on returning home after a night out, Noel’s mother would be waiting up to hear all the news. He remembers this fondly and it influenced his own vision of what he wanted to create.


more History

Much Thanks 🙏 to Our local Historian
Sean Collins for this wonderful look back
Into The Characters that graced our past
  And moulded our future ❤

By : Sean Collins 28/6/2020
How long have they served ales and beers at your local ? decorative exteriors can often hide an ancient history. The masterful stonework carried out on the Market Bar by Liam Holt at the behest of Noel Nugent Snr, highlights the antiquity of this imbibing emporium. First listed in McCabes Directory of Drogheda 1830 as the property of James Wisdom, a brother of Obidiah, an ancient Drogheda family whose business interests in the town go back to the 1600s.

Licensing Acts were first put on the statute books in Ireland in 1872-74, with John Downey listed as the licensee. His brother Peter owned the nearby Branagans at that time. The Downeys were Dairy owners on the North Rd. In 1897 one John McCullen of Beamore, surely an ancestor of our [outstanding in his field] local historian with Ald John Downey soon to be Mayor [1901], were brought before the Judge for breaking the Bonified Laws, drinking after hours following a family funeral.

[ bonified ;a much abused statute whereby a person who lived more than four miles from a licensed premises would be entitled to a late drink put simply for sustenance purposes ]

 The R.I.C. had gone to the trouble of measuring the distance from the Market Bar to McCullen’s home at Beamore. Can you see them going up the Pitcher Hill with a measuring tape !!!! But to no avail, McCullen and John Downey were deemed innocent.

Mayor John Downey was an outspoken Nationalist a supporter of Parnell and later John Redmond. His daughter Mary married Thomas Reid from Ballymakenny, and his granddaughter Nano Reid went on to be an Irish Artist of international fame. 

The premises was bought by Jack Johnson of Hardman’s Garden from the Downey family in the 1940s. There have been a number of owners since then, including Jim Levins, Brendan Byrne and Kevin Thornton.

Noel Nugent and his lovely wife Evelyn , acquired the premises in the late eighties, and the family continue to run the Market Bar as a traditional local style premises. Long before we had the Fleadh, Drogheda musicians of many styles had a Fleadh there every night. Eamonn Campbell and Roy McCormack on guitar playing to the dulcet tones of Derek McCormack and Kenny Doyle having a laugh with Joey Maher, while  Dermot Finglas was spinning the discs, and Rock Salmon doing the comedy slot, Smiley keeping the history, and an odd appearance of that young ‘oul fella Harry Martin, now 88yrs young, but promises to live for another 25yrs at least, god help us.

So the next time you drop in for a pint watch for the ghosts of Obadiah Wisdom, John Downey and Nano Reid, be careful though, the lady in charge, Colette or Colgate or whatever you call her is now the President of the Licensed Vitners of Co.Louth, her recent appearance in the local media shows she does not suffer fools……..