Situated mid-way between Cork and Dublin on the main road is the famous Horse & Jockey Hotel which is located in the village of the Horse & Jockey in Co. Tipperary. The hotel, which gives it's name to the village, stands at one of the great traditional crossroads of Ireland.
Where the village stands today, in 1740, two thatched cabins surrounded by several trees and open fields marked the place. The mail car operated by the British government used to stop to water their horses and after a while one of the cabins developed into a licensed Inn. Shortly afterwards a new Inn was built on the premises. This Inn was set to give the crossroads village its name. The Inn has been continuously trading for over 250 years and was once a popular meeting place for Wolfe Tone's United Irishmen in the 1790's.
An industrious little village soon began to grow around the foot to the famous hump back bridge. It boasted of having Michael Caudy, a cobbler, shoemaker Jack Carthy and Tom Barry the blacksmiths, two threshing mills owned by Dick O’Keefe and the post office owned by Tim Barry. A railway line from Thurles to Clonmel, which delivered goods daily, serviced this busy village. It made deliveries to the pub – Richard O’Keefe and Grocer John O’Keefe. Life was tranquil and unhurried then and it seemed nothing would change.
Then in the early sixties, road widening commenced and most branch lines such as the horse and jockey were about to be closed. The famous bridge was reckoned to be dangerous because large heavy trucks were now transporting goods and frequently got stuck on the bridge. 1996 saw the demolition of the bridge. 2006 saw the last phase of the extensions to the hotel to complete the complex into what it is today. 2008 then saw the main Dublin-Cork road which ran through the village being by-passed, the road quietened and the village returned to more tranquil days.
The legendary reputation for hospitality at 'the jockey' continues to attract luminaries from the sporting, political and cultural worlds while continuing to be the meeting point of people from the locality.
In the words of a local poet:
'It is there you will find it,
More friendship than is in all Ireland's grounds.
God bless you my Inn, Horse and Jockey
O where can your likes be found.'