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Fresh lease of life for 200-year-old pub under its new boss

By Clare Weir

Despite its name, one of Northern Ireland's pubs is enjoying a new lease of life with a £50,000 investment after being taken over by one of the province's biggest hotel and bar groups.

The 200-year-old Auld House in Moneyreagh will undergo an extensive programme of improvements, including refurbishment inside and out.

At the helm will be Colin Dalley, who has over 15 years' experience as a head chef in some of Northern Ireland's top eateries.

The venue is one of 15 Co Down pubs, once controlled by troubled company MAR Properties, which were snapped up by businessman Bill Wolsey's seemingly recession-proof Beannchor Group.

Mr Dalley said that while it is early days, business is booming and Christmas Day is already booked out.

"This is our third month of trading and I have to say the response from the locals and regulars has been fantastic," he said.

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