Ever Wonder Why Irish Pubs Are Named Molly Maguires? Here’s The Secret

Molly Maguires Phoenixville -- Irish Pubs
Molly Maguire’s Phoenixville –

Every year on St. Patrick’s Day party-goers flood Irish pubs worldwide. The historical Irish holiday involves dancing, singing, eating, and drinking–people can’t get enough of the green beer. In Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, the staple Irish pub on the corner of Main and Bridge Streets put on a huge celebration that requires VIP passes. Yet, you may wonder why so many Irish pubs are named Molly Maguires? 

The Secret Society of Molly Maguires

You read that right. The name Molly Maguires isn’t any old Irish name, it’s based on the legendary coal miners in Pennsylvania. 

In the late 1800s, Irish immigrants came to America seeking a new life after the Great Potato Famine of Ireland. Settlers in the coal region of Pennsylvania were subject to discrimination and refused work by local employers. 

The only roles they could fill were in coal mining. The lack of good work conditions caused the Irish immigrants to rebel against their employers. The rebellion grew into assaults and eventually murders. 

The rebellion was led by a secret group called the Molly Maguires. says, that the name comes from “…An elderly woman, reportedly named Molly Maguire, was turned out of her rental home by an unfriendly landlord, and left to struggle to survive with no shelter; or so the story goes on. For years, notices were left on doors of landlords with threats should they dare to treat their tenants in the same fashion – notes that were signed “Molly Maguire.” It remains unknown if this elderly woman ever actually existed.”

The infamous Molly Maguires organization was hidden behind a legitimate group called the AOH.

As the Molly Maguires battled the coal industry, the companies wanted to get rid of the tension between the laborers. The businesses hired a spy to ingrain themselves into the Maguires.

The spy assisted in getting several key people arrested and charged with their crimes. 20 members of Molly Maguires were sentenced to execution by hanging. 

100 years later, the hangings were deemed unjust and unnecessary by the justice system. 

Today, historians point to the Mollys as the first workers’ rights group in the United States.

Phoenixville’s Molly Maguires is named after the Irish outlaws of the coal region. So, if you’re stumbling out (or in) to a Molly Maguires in any part of the world, at least you know a little bit more about the history. 

Molly Maguires Irish Restaurant and Pub

This year’s celebration at Molly Maguire’s Irish Restaurant and Pub lasts all weekend. From March 17 to March 19, you can purchase tickets for the St. Paddy’s Day celebration.

VIP tickets are $30.00 and must be purchased by March 14.

All details can be found at

Happy St. Paddy’s Day! 

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