Who is Pat Murnane?
This Pub’s Founder, Michael Norris, is great-grand son of Pat Murnane. This place of relaxation, fun and great food is in honor of the man.
Patrick Murnane was born in 1860, the youngest of eleven children to Cornelius and Kathryn O’Sullivan Murnane. Pat was born in the County Limerick in Ireland. The wee town was called Ballinta, Athlacca. It is near Kilmallock located between the towns of Bruree and Bruff.
Pat came to America because of troubles with the British in Ireland. Pat, a member of the ‘Land League”, faced prison or worse if he stayed in his home land. Pat landed on Ellis Island in New York harbor in 1880. He proceeded to Albany, Ny. To stay with relatives already in America. There he met and married Margaret Theresa McCarthy in 1882. She was the daughter of Denis and Margaret Theresa Wall McCarthy, one of twelve Children herself. She also hailed from County Limerick. Together they moved to Williamsport, Pa., where Pat got a job on the Pennsylvania Railroad. He retired years later as the foreman of the track walkers. You see, Pat was trained in Ireland as a roof thatcher...a trade not needed here. Together Pat and Margaret raised a family of two boys and four girls. One of the girls was Margaret Theresa Murnane, Michael’s Grandmother.
Pat was from a musical family. He played the bagpipes and the tin whistle, and other instruments all without ever having a musical lesson. As a youth, he would play the tin whistle at the crossroads where the youth of yesteryear would meet to dance. You see, the times were tough with the British presence there in Ireland, music, dancing, and ‘fun’ in general were outlawed. Because of that Pat hid his tin whistle in the hedges surrounding his parents house so his parents wouldn't find out he was violating the law. One night, very late, the old man up the road said he heard the music being played. Pat claimed it was the fairies doing it. The old man told Pat that since the fairies played it, no human being would ever get another note out of that whistle. Later, Pat tried and tried , but the whistle never played again.
Many years later, on a hot summer night in Williamsport, Pa., Pat and wife rowed out onto the Susquehanna River with his bagpipes. Pat played for hours as the poor Irish immigrants, all railroad workers, came down to the river bank to hear him play songs from Ireland.
Pat died many years later and is buried on a hill in the Irish cemetery in Williamsport. He lies next to his wife, the woman he loved. His grave overlooks the river valley that he so dearly loved. His descendants number in the hundreds and live all over this great country.
We are sure he would be proud of this country, his descendants, and this little pub named in his honor.