- Prior to the 1840s: Merchants Road businesses extended into the sea. Mostly comprised of small fishing boats.
- 1840’s-50’s: Saw the build of the New Docs which are present to this day. Several sites were also built at this time including the premises of Ruibin.
- Captain Neil Delargy from Antrim, married a widow from Connemara and settled in the houses currently no. 1 to no. 5 New Docks Road.
- The houses were used for business and residents. With no legal distinctions between Bar and grocery, Ruibins owners were able to run their business from the ground floor until the late 1860s.
An Irish Language Short Story Writer
- The 1870s: Meet tenant Thomas Conroy.
- During a time of economic depression, many departed Ireland to America via Galway Port. Conroy worked with the Allen Line Passenger Ship company to set up contacts for those emigrating to the US.
- His son, Padraig O’Connaire is born and lives in Galway for the first 8 years of his life. During this time their wealth began to decrease.
- Thomas decided to emigrate himself. However, not long after word was sent back he contracted a fever and died.
- Two years later, Padraigs mother passed away and he was left orphaned.
- Padraig goes to live with relatives in Rosmuc where they spoke native Irish.
- Fascinated by the language, years later Padraig went on to study it as part of his degree in Dublin. That and French writing have had a lasting influence on Padraigs short story writing.
- Padraig got a job working as a civil servant in London. At the time he also taught Irish and believed the language was the key to regaining Ireland’s freedom.
- He pursued writing as his career on return to Ireland with his wife and daughters however with little success.
- Padraig slowly developed alcoholism, separating from his family he travelled solo until he met his death in Dublin Hospital.
Captain Neil Delargy, Pilot of Galway Harbour- Landlord Captain Neil Delgary died leaving the harbour to his son, Neil who worked the Galway Harbour as Chief Pilot
- Joseph Flaherty from the Aran Islands became a long-term tenant 1916-1952
- The Delgary family are recorded to have lived in the corner house from 1905-1911 census.
James Delargy and the Depressed Times
- 1935, Capt. Neil Delgary retired from his position as pilot due to health problems, divided his property and left the bar to his son, James.
- James was known for his dry wit. One account of this includes a story: On one occasion a bull, due for transport by sea, escaped and ran along the Docks causing panic and some small destruction of goods. It had passed James who was later criticised by the bull’s owner for not attempting to stop it. James dryly replied, “I am a stevedore not a matador,” ending the argument.
- The Docks prospered in WWII, supplying agricultural goods to England.
- Post-war, Joseph Flaherty’s tenancy ended and the bar was operated for a short time by James.
- The depression saw a decline in dock-related business, leading to the bar’s closure and emigration by James to England in 1957.
- James suffered a heart condition that prevented him to work or travel. It gradually became worse and worse.
- James died of heart and prostate problems in 1976. The premises was left to his niece Pauline and son Robert (the present-day owner).
- The second round of renovations took place from 1976-1980. At this time the docs were thriving. - In the ’80s and ’90s boat trade moved south to Cork and fishing boats moved west to Rossaveal.
- The ’90s saw the third round of renovation along with the death of Pauline in 1995.
- Between 1999-2003 Robert kept the bar open while planning applications were being reviewed for the building due to the protected nature of the structures.
- In 2003, the back bar extension was completed and extended into 2 adjoining houses.
Ruibin as we know it today!- As building trade prices rise, Robert ends up leasing out the bar again and continues the renovations himself.
- By 2007/8 he brings in additional help from a builder for the undertaking of the restaurant.
- 2014 - Aoife Buckley commenced to run the bar and restaurant
- In the Summer of 2019, the building was given new lease of life by current owners Alice Jary and Richard Kenna.
- The Restaurant is now owner run & named Ruibin meaning small Ruby stone
- With years of travel, they dreamt of settling in Galway and opening their own business
- Alice runs to the kitchen while Richard receives diners at the front of house.