It is not known precisely when the hotel was built but in 1642 it was in the possession of John and Ann Macgreevy. John had been a soldier in the army of Charles I and accepted it as part recompense for non-payment of wages. It was a centre for the United Irishmen in the 1790s. A coaching inn from the early 1800s, it has been the centre of social activity in the town ever since, apart from a brief period in the early 1820s. A recent renovation has revealed evidence of a seventeenth century structure. On his reform programme, Daniel O'Connell addressed a large crowd from one of its upstairs windows. There is a tradition the cobbled area in front of the hotel, behind the line of the footpath, was a debtor's sanctuary.