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The Gaelic Bar This month’s pub is the Gaelic Bar in the West Cork village of Drinagh. This quaint country pub has been in the Connolly family since the early 1860’s when the current owner’s great great great grandfather purchased the land and building which was formerly a small shop and liquor store. The pub has been handed down from father to son or nephew over the generations, and is still family run.
The pub’s exterior is a warm welcome to visitors with its stone façade and gloss red trim. Inside you will find all the comforts you’d expect in a traditional Irish pub – friendly people, live music, and a warm stove, and renovations are currently taking place to build an early 1900’s style snug inside the pub as an ode to the history of the building. As an added bonus there is an extensive beer garden out back for enjoying pints on sunny days. While the Gaelic Bar is certainly off the beaten path, it is well worth the visit for anyone seeking an authentic family run pub experience.
This month we are featuring the Tin Pub in the village of Ahakista on Sheep’s Head Peninsula in County Cork. This scenic pub overlooks the beautiful Kitchen Cove and Mizen Peninsula, and has a 19th century Victorian garden that slopes down into Dunmanus Bay. This pub is rural, rustic and quirky, and yes, made of tin. The Tin pub has been in the same family since 1957, but has been a pub in some shape or form since the 1930’s. Given the seasonal nature of the area, they are only open from May through September each year.
Originally the building was used as a lodge for workers from the neighboring hotel. That hotel has since changed hands, and is now Graham Norton’s holiday home, and we hear he is quite fond of the Tin Pub. The tin of the pub came from a dance hall which once existed at the hotel. The simple materials were repurposed to build the pub, and thankfully never upgraded!
The Poor Scholar This month’s pub is The Poor Scholar, located in Ballinamore, County Leitrim. The pub’s exterior will bring a smile to your face and invite you in – the brick and stone façade is brightened up with a jolly red door and sunny flower boxes. This friendly pub is a warm and cosy place to stop for a few pints, meet some locals, and enjoy some craic, and owners believe that nobody is a stranger, they are simply friends we have not yet met. Each weekend, The Poor Scholar comes to life with a constantly impressive line-up of local and national live music acts.
Ballinamore is a quaint town with lots to do. If you aren’t drinking pints at The Poor Scholar there is plenty of nature to enjoy. With over 40 lakes within a 10km radius of the town, it is no wonder Ballinamore is famous for its angling, and plays host to an international angling festival each May.
Nearly 25 years ago, Sinead Mulhall was working as a lounge girl at the Hideout Pub in North Dublin when she met, and eventually fell in love with her future partner Darren. The couple went on to other ventures over the years, and the pub eventually shut down in 2012. After hearing that their old stomping grounds had closed, Sinead and Darren decided to re-open the pub. After putting loads of hard work and sweat into refurbishments, the Hideout re-opened in 2017 to the delight of the community.
This hard to find pub lives up to its name as a gathering place for locals in a neighbourhood that can often become inundated with out-of-towners. Located in the shadow of the legendary Croke Park, headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association, the streets are full of sports fanatics on match days. If you find yourself out watching a game of hurling or Gaelic Football at Croke Park and need a bit of respite from the madness, we recommend you head to the Hideout.
This month’s pub is the Vine Cottage Bar in County Wexford. This traditional Irish Pub is rich with history and has been run by four generations of the same family since 1894. The original license can be dated back to 1759 when the pub was located in the village surrounding the Tintern Abbey. At the end of the 18th century, the entire Tintern village left their homes and houses and moved to new estate buildings one mile south to Saltmills. The local pub, then known as the Inn at Tintern, was also moved and renamed Vine Cottage – reflecting the vines that were planted on the pub’s scenic new grounds.
The Vine Cottage Bar overlooks Bannow Bay, scene of the first Norman landings in 1169, but the area was inhabited by Vikings long before that. Visitors enjoy soaking up the sun in their spacious beer garden while contemplating the vast history of the area. The ruins of the Tintern Abbey are just a mile away, making Vine Cottage an ideal venue for a drink or afternoon tea while exploring the area. From the ‘Inn at Tintern’ to Vine Cottage Bar stand centuries of history which make this little area much more than just another tourist attraction – spending time here is an experience not to be missed!
This month’s pub is JJ Bowles, the oldest, and possibly the most loved pub in Limerick. Records date the pub to at least 1794, with the building dating to the late 1600’s. The pub is popular with sports fans as it is within shouting distance of Thomond Park, where you can catch Munster Rugby matches, and the Gaelic Grounds where GAA fans watch Hurling and Gaelic Football matches. JJ Bowles also boasts a beautiful view – with a beer garden along the Shannon River and views across to King John’s Castle.
JJ Bowles the man was a true legend - an Irish handball champion of twenty years in a row, and the owner of the pub in the early 1900’s. It is now owned and operated by Bowles’ grand-nephew, Aengus D’Arcy, who keeps the legacy of his grand-uncle alive. The pub is full of character and has remained largely unchanged for the past 100 years. The local newspaper, the Limerick Leader, recently ran a poll to determine the best pint of Guinness in the City, and JJ Bowles came out on top. This pub is a Limerick institution and a must-see on any trip to the Emerald Isle.
This month’s pub is Farren’s Bar, Ireland’s Most Northerly Bar, located in scenic Malin Head in County Donegal. Established in 1825, this family-run establishment is walking distance from several local landmarks including the Wee House of Malin, a small cave on the shore where legend says a holy man once lived, and Bamba’s Crown, Ireland’s most Northerly Point. Farren’s welcoming atmosphere is inviting to all – visitors will enjoy talking over a pint with the Donegal locals – the friendliest folk in the country. The staff are also always happy to share their knowledge of the local sights including fishing spots and walking routes.
Visitors will notice a Yoda mural on the side of the pub – something the owners painted to commemorate a special time in the pub’s recent history. Back in 2016, Malin Head had quite the buzz, as the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Last Jedi descended on the tiny town to film. Farren’s was a welcome stop for the many fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the filming, and the excitement truly peaked when Mark Hamil (aka Luke Skywalker) himself stopped in for a few pints!
This month’s pub is the Oyster Tavern, one of the oldest pubs in the heart of Cork City. The earliest record of the tavern can be dated back to 1792 and has changed hands many times throughout the years. In 1943 the tavern was upgraded and run as a first-class restaurant, and still offers up outstanding food today. Given its location just steps from the famous English Market, the tavern is able to serve the freshest meat, fish, and produce from the market’s many local vendors.
In the early hours of August 20, 1969 a fire broke out inside the tavern and it suffered great damage in the upper portion of the building. Because of a swift response from the Cork Fire Brigade the fire was contained and much of the building was saved from destruction. The damaged section was rebuilt to retain the same character and the Oyster Tavern was back in business within sixteen weeks. Thanks to the brave members of the fire brigade the Oyster Tavern can continue as a vital part of the Cork landscape for many more years to come.
This month’s pub is the Cock Tavern in Swords, County Dublin. This Heritage Pub has a rich history and got its start as a Coaching Inn in the 18th Century. Coaching Inns were popular prior to the development of railways and served as a resting spot where travellers with horse drawn coaches could rest, eat and care for their horses. The Cock Tavern was a very important Coaching Inn, as the surrounding areas were densely wooded and harbored some of Ireland’s most notorious highwaymen.
Today, the Cock Tavern is still a wonderful place to relax and recharge. The old slated floors, wide pine beams, and brick and granite walls create a natural character and ambiance that truly highlights the pubs old world charm and history. The menu has expanded a bit since the 18th century and you can now enjoy dishes including beef and Guinness casserole, burgers and the famous Cock Tavern Chicken Wings. Wash it all down with a pint or two and you’ll be sure to avoid any unsavory highwaymen that might be lurking in the woods.
This month’s pub is The Parnell Heritage Pub and Grill on the north side of Dublin City. The pub’s license dates back to the 1780’s, although the name has changed over the years. Throughout the 19th Century the pub was known as one of Dublin’s most stylish, elegant and opulent landmark bars, and has recently been restored to its former glory. Now, The Parnell is best known for it’s exciting atmosphere and lively events. Each week guests are entertained at the pub’s popular storytelling sessions where Irish mythology is brought to life with the help of talented musicians and storytellers.
History buffs can stop and enjoy a pint at the Parnell while learning about the pub’s namesake, Charles Stewart Parnell, one of Ireland’s most popular historic figures. Parnell was an Irish Nationalist and statesman who led the fight for Irish Home Rule in the 1880’s, and the pub honors his legacy with educational displays that tell the history of this great man. Charles Stewart Parnell was no stranger to the pub that would eventually carry his name. He was known to have drank at the premises, and his first and last public speeches were given just across the road at the Rotunda Ballroom.
This month we are excited to a pub that dates back to the Dark Ages – Sean’s bar in Athlone, County Westmeath. Dating back to 900 A.D., Sean’s Bar is Ireland’s oldest pub, and possibly the oldest pub in the world (the owners have just submitted a petition to Guinness World Records). During renovations in 1970, the walls of the bar were found to be made of “wattle and wicker” dating back to the ninth century. Old coins minted by various landlords for barter with their customers were also found. The walls and coins are on display in the National Museum, and one section of the wall remains on display inside the pub. Visitors will also notice that the floors were designed with an intentional slope so that when the nearby River Shannon would flood the water would come in through the front and run straight out the back. The bartender would then cover the wet floors in sawdust to keep patrons from slipping – a tradition that is still kept up today.
Sean's Bar, as it is known today, is a building of great antiquity which over the years has built up a world-wide reputation for its atmosphere, old bar, open fireplace, and walls covered with many ancient artifacts. Sean's is full of great character and an international clientele come to hear the best of traditional Irish music and song, or just relax in the beer garden that overlooks the Ford of Luain. Recently Sean's Bar has become famous for its own whiskey. If you haven’t visited already, you must put Ireland’s oldest pub on your bucket list!
This month’s pub is the popular Blue Light, located half way up Three Rock Mountain in Barnacullia Dublin. The Blue Light is a 300+ year old pub with stunning views overlooking Dublin City and the Irish Sea, and on a clear day, Wales. The history of the Blue Light is quite interesting – years ago there were high taxes on wine and brandy coming from France, England, and Spain so to get around this, smugglers would come into the coast at night. The clever locals in Barnacullia would shine a blue lantern from the pub indicating that the coast was clear, and the smugglers would bring the goods ashore. Some of the cargo would then travel up to the mountain pub to be enjoyed by the locals, so thus, the blue light signals that a party is about to start!
These days, the pub is no longer involved in smuggling, but the blue light still shines every night from the front of the bar. The pub hosts local musicians seven nights a week and has seen many a famous guest including Sinead O’Connor, Elvis Costello, and Lady Gaga. U2 are neighbors and once gifted the pub a new piano! The Blue Light also popular with motorcyclists who use the pub as a meeting point to discuss all things motorcycle. Weather you ride there on a motorbike, drive in a car or hike up the mountain, the Blue Light is a must for any visit to Dublin – and if you don’t feel like going back down that’s ok! The owners have converted the upstairs to an Airbnb so you can enjoy the views all night long!
This month's pub is the Red Fox Inn in Glenbeigh, County Kerry, located at one of the most popular stops along the Ring of Kerry – the Kerry Bog Village. The Village gives visitors a glimpse into 19th century Ireland complete with period thatched cottages, rural farm equipment, the once nearly extinct Kerry Bog Ponies, and a few of the world’s tallest dogs, the Irish Wolfhound.
The Red Fox Inn is a perfect addition to the village, welcoming visitors to relax with a pint just as the Irish have done for ages. Here you can enjoy a bite to eat, a perfectly poured Guinness, or one of their world famous Irish coffees. The pub is set at the foot of the Mcgillycuddy Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range, and is surrounded by the extensive Bog lands of Ballintleave. If you are travelling the ring of Kerry you must stop in for some Irish coffee and a bit of history.
This month’s pub is Cronin’s Sheebeen located just outside Westport, County Mayo, in an idyllic seaside setting on the Wild Atlantic Way. This beautiful thatched pub was founded around 1810 and was originally named Angler’s Rest because the nearby Belclare River was a popular spot for fishing. In the 1950’s the pub officially became known as Sheebeen, as it developed a reputation for being frequently raided by the Gardaí (police) for staying open after hours. The word Sheebeen derives from the Irish síbín, meaning ‘illicit whiskey’, and is the common term for illicit bars where alcohol was sold without a license.
These days, father and son proprietors Colm and Simon Cronin have lovingly updated the pub with an aim to provide a relaxed and unhurried atmosphere for all patrons. The comfortable dark wood interior is dotted with open fires, stained glass windows and cushioned bench settees. Nautical charts, fish identification posters and local photographs adorn the walls and give the Sheebeen a unique identity where you instantly feel at home. With fantastic local seafood specials like fresh Clew Bay lobster and Clare Island salmon and a great selection of beer, wine, and spirits, you are sure to be captivated by the charm of this wonderful pub.
This month’s pub is the Blue Bull located in the heart of Sneem in County Kerry. The name of the pub was derived from a quote in The Playboy of the Western World by J.M.Synge, “strike him yerself Michael James or you’ll lose your drift of heifers and your Blue Bull from Sneem”. Established in 1919, The Blue Bull is a traditional pub and restaurant known for its friendly service, fresh seafood, and ample selection of beer. On a sunny day you can enjoy some local mussels and a pint at one of the outdoor tables, and when the rain comes you can tuck in at a fireside table and enjoy a tasty bowl of chowder inside the cosy pub. Rumor has it that the Blue Bull is composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s favorite Irish pub!
The quaint village of Sneem sits along the estuary of the River sneem on the Iveragh Peninsula along the famous Ring of Kerry. Given it’s location, the village is a popular stop for travellers of the Ring of Kerry and the Kerry Way Walking Trail. The familiar atmosphere of the Blue Bull attracts both visitors and tourists, and is a great stop to refuel for your next adventure.
This month’s pub is the Hatchet Inn in Dunboyne, County Meath, a pub that has been around since the late 1800’s. The bright yellow building is a welcome sight alongside the quiet country road, just outside the main town area of Dunboyne. Only 20 minutes from Dublin, the Hatchet Inn is a great first stop if you are on your way out of the city to explore the beautiful countryside of Ireland.
This quirky pub’s nooks and crannies are decorated with loads of memorabilia from the past which adds to its warm and unique atmosphere. On a nice day you can enjoy food and drink in the lovely beer garden, and on a cold day there are several nooks and crannies to cosy up in (check out the private horse stable snug!). The friendly staff serve up delicious food all day including the popular spicy chicken wings, perfectly cooked steaks, and fresh filets of salmon. The Hatchet Inn is also a great place for watching sports or catching some live music to brighten up your evening.
This month’s pub is the Coach House & Olde Bar in the magical village of Glaslough, County Monaghan. This old style Irish pub is proudly run by the Kendrick family who go out of their way to give everyone who visits a very warm welcome.
The Coach House & Olde Bar is housed in an impressive limestone building with a slate roof that was built in the 1860’s and is bursting with a truly authentic atmosphere. Many of the original features of the building remain, including the site of County Monaghan’s first singing lounge. Inside you’ll find a long dark wood bar with bright green accents that is the perfect spot to cosy up to a few pints. The pub serves up all the old favorites as well as local brews from the nearby Brehon Brewery.
This month's shirt features The Dingle Pub in the heart of the beautiful town of Dingle in County Kerry. In a townknown for great music, the Dingle Pub holds its own with several live music sessions every night, and frequent performances by the 5-time world champion Irish step-dancer David Geaney. This cozy pub serves up great local beers and Dingle gin cocktails, and if you have too much you can book a room at their B&B upstairs.
The Dingle peninsula is arguably one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland, and a highligh along the Wild Atlantic Way. Complete with mountains, sea-cliffs, and sandy beaches there is somethingfor everyone here. After a day spent exploring all this beautiful region has to offer, you'll be happyto find a welcome spot at the Dingle Pub - aplace that is easy to find, but hard to leave.
The Bankers Bar now boasts over 70 varieties of Irish Whiskey, loads of locally brewed craft beers, and serves food in an upstairs dining room aptly named the Teller Room. Whilst owner Alan Campbell has thoughtfully shepherded the Bankers into modern times, he has been careful to let the spirit and history of the pub shine through. Next time you are in Dublin be sure to stop in and experience it all for yourself
December’s pub was Nancy Hands located in Dublin City next to the grand Phoenix Park and a short stroll from the Guinness Storehouse, the Jameson Distillery, and the National Museum at Collin’s Barracks. This long established, authentic Dublin pub offers the real Irish drinking and dining experience. Upon arrival, the first thing you will notice is the authentic Victorian bar, an original staircase from Trinity College (trodden by Michael Caine in the film Educating Rita), and a collection of rare “Guinntiques” describing a lifetime of Guinness advertising.
Nancy Hands is the place to be if you want to experience a traditional Irish dinner – complete with storytelling, music, dancing, and even breadmaking and Irish coffee demonstrations. Dinner specials including beef and Guinness pie and the hearty seafood chowder cannot be missed. Wash it all down with a few pints of Guinness and you’ll be well on your way to the perfect evening in Dublin.
November’s pub was The Spinnaker Bar & Restaurant located in the lower village of Dunmore East in County Waterford. The Spinnaker is reminiscent of former times, with old stone walls, wooden and flagstone floors, stained glass, and a hint of the monastic origin in some of the woodwork and furnishings. Old style mirrors and artifacts adorn the walls, and in winter a crackling log fire will warm the cockles of even the hardest heart.
The Spinnaker is a relaxed place to enjoy a few sociable drinks with friends or while listening to trad session. They are also known for their award winning food - the famous seafood chowder is the perfect way to refuel after a long day of exploring the beautiful area. Be sure to pop in to the Spinnaker next time you are in Waterford and experience the inherent charm, character and hospitality that they have to offer.
This month’s pub is Tig Coili, a buzzing family run pub located in the heart of Galway City’s Latin Quarter. Known as the home of traditional Irish music, Tig Coili hosts 2 live trad sessions each day throughout the entire year. This pub has found the perfect balance between locals and visitors, creating an authentic, welcoming environment for all.
Talented musicians both young and old, come from near and far to play each night, and guests are always rewarded with brilliant music, a lively atmosphere and delicious pints. No trip to Galway is complete without a visit to Tig Coili – so be sure to stop in for some ceol agus craic (Irish for music and fun) during your next visit.
August’s pub was the Singing Pub, or Síbín Ceoil, in the town of Downings, County Donegal. Perched in a stunning location along the scenic Atlantic Drive in the very north of Donegal, the Singing Pub is housed a traditional thatched Irish cottage and is bursting with character and charm. Visitors are welcomed to the cozy pub by the glowing open turf fires, comfortable seating, and friendly service. The food here is not to be missed – the pub is famous for it’s fresh locally caught seafood dishes, massive steaks, and of course, a great selection of beers.
The Singing Pub has been quenching the thirst of locals since the early 18th century, making it one of Ireland’s oldest pubs. In its formative years it operated as a Síbín, or an unlicensed premise. Now, having been in the Doherty family for over 30 years, the pub is a warm and welcoming place not only for visitors and locals, but also for the many musicians who have helped the Singing Pub become famous for it’s trad sessions.
July’s pub was Mellett’s Emporium in the town of Swinford in County Mayo. Mellett’s Emporium was opened in 1797 by Stephen Mellett and has been in the same family for seven generations! Originally, the property consisted of a retail shop in the front and a bar in the back. It was the village’s general store with one long counter where you could buy groceries and tobacco, book your journey to the US or England, or even arrange a funeral. Talk about a one stop shop!
Mellett’s was renovated in the 1980’s, but still retains its original character. The pub is crammed with memorabilia from the past that have accumulated over the years – you’ll even find a few coffins left over from the funeral business, as well as some vintage cars in the beer garden out back. If you are looking for a bit of history with your pint Mellett’s Emporium is the place to be – its story is tied tight with the history of Swinford and with seven generations of the Mellett family.
June’s pub is the Old Ship, established in 1796 in Arklow, County Wicklow in the southeast of Ireland. Full of nautical memorabilia, the interior of this friendly pub resembles the hull of an old sailing ship – a tribute to the history of the town. Arklow was formerly one of the busiest ports in Ireland and was a renowned center for boat building and sea fishing. The welcoming staff will make you feel right at home, and the pub boasts hearty portions of home-cooked food. You’ll be happy to know you can order a full Irish breakfast all day long, and they always serve up a proper pint on Guinness. The Old Ship is a great place to watch sports, catch some live music on the weekends, or to mingle with the great mix of locals and visitors. If you visit The Old Ship you’ll be well looked after, and will quickly understand their guarantee of good food, good drink, and good craic.
May’s featured pub is The Blind Piper in Caherdaniel, County Kerry. Located on the Wild Atlantic Way and the famous Ring of Kerry, this bright yellow pub is a welcoming site for weary travellers. Situated along the Coomnahorna River, the Blind Piper is close to some of the best beaches in Kerry including the must-see Derrynane beach. The smell of peat burning on the open fire will draw you in on a rainy day, and once inside you’ll be enchanted by the dark wood, stone floors, delicious food, and a good variety of beer. It is easy to lose track of time at The Blind Piper as you become engrossed with the live traditional live music, friendly banter, and good old Irish craic!
April’s featured pub is the popular Locke Bar in the heart of Limerick’s medieval quarter. The Locke has everything you’d expect from a true Irish pub, including friendly staff, extensive drink selections, fabulous food, nightly traditional music and dancing, and a beautiful location. This pub is welcoming during any season – with warm open fires in the winter, and a large beer garden overlooking the lovely River Abbey in the summer. Situated on the original site of one of Limerick’s oldest pubs dating back to 1724, the Locke is a stone’s throw from the city’s most historic landmarks – St. Mary’s Cathedral, King John’s Castle, and the Hunt Museum. Weather you are in search of a perfect pint, some soul-warming Irish stew, lively traditional music and dancing or a place to relax and refuel, the Locke in Limerick is certain to satisfy you.
March’s featured pub is the Marine Bar in County Waterford. Situated in Drum Hills in the village of Pulla in Dungarvan, this family run traditional pub sits along the main road between Cork and Waterford and is known for its lively year-round Irish music sessions. While many assume the name refers to the local community of fishermen, that is not the case. The bar has a rich history dating back to the 18th century when the Marines marching from Cork Harbor to Waterford Harbor were in need of a place to quench their thirst after a long climb through the hills. The sergeant persuaded a local widow to open a shebeen inside her cow shed, a few barrels of whiskey were rolled in from the secret still in the hills, and thus the Marine bar was born.
After nearly 300 years of operation, the Marine Bar is still a welcome respite for weary travellers, offering fine drink, great music, and lots of craic. Patrons know they can always find good music here, as their motto is “If music be the food of life, welcome to the kitchen!”
February’s featured pub is the Spirit Store in Dundalk, County Louth. Tucked into the docks of George’s Quay on Dundalk Bay, the Spirit Store is both a traditional pub and a live performance venue. On the ground floor you’ll find a cosy pub full of nooks and snugs perfect for sipping some whiskey, wine, or a few of the Irish craft beers on tap. Upstairs is a small venue that hosts top-notch music and comedy acts, attracting talented performers from all over Ireland and abroad.
You’ll always find a diverse group of people here – local fisherman and musicians mix with locals and visitors to create a warm, welcoming, and always lively atmosphere. On a sunny day there is outdoor seating where you can watch the boats pass by and take in the beautiful scenery of the nearby Cooley mountains in the background. On Sunday evenings you’ll be delighted by free Irish music sessions – the perfect way to wrap up your weekend.
January’s pub is the Slieve Bloom Bar, a family run pub in the village of Kinnitty, County Offaly, smack in the center of Ireland. The large black and white building dates back to the 1800’s and is a welcome stop for walkers, bikers, scouts and anglers, as it is nestled in the breathtaking Slieve Bloom Mountains. The pub has been in the Clements family for over 50 years and is a great spot to learn about the local history and folklore as you sit around the warm fire and sip pints. The walls are adorned with historic memorabilia, and there are beers to suit all tastes. Current owner Kieran Clements will make you feel as if you are a guest in his home, and will see to it that you are well looked after.
With December's pub shirt, we are proud to feature the Reel Inn in Donegal Town, County Donegal. Recently voted the Best Pub in Ireland for 2017 at the Irish Hospitality Awards, The Reel Inn is the Irish pub of your dreams. Owners Denise and John McMenamin opened the pub with the goal of creating an authentic traditional Irish pub and a welcoming space for musicians – and boy have they succeeded!
With brilliant live music 7 nights a week (typically led by John and his red squeezebox), the small pub usually fills to capacity, creating a buzzing atmosphere. Inside you’ll find walls clad with old photos and instruments, and framed song lyrics about the pub written by devoted customers. Here you will feel at home having a few delicious pints while you get caught up in conversation or join in with the songs. The Reel Inn is a truly special place - you won’t find a more welcoming or authentic pub in Ireland.
If you happen to wander through the narrow passageway off Dame Street in Dublin you’ll stumble upon a true gem. Though a tavern has existed at this site since the 1780’s, The Stag’s Head was opened in 1894 by popular British merchant George Tyson, and was the first pub in Dublin to enjoy electric light. It is arguably Dublin’s best preserved Victorian pub complete with a mosaic floor, wooden snugs, and a long mahogany bar. Tucked quietly behind the main bar you will find a cozy parlor lounge that used to serve as a fashionable Victorian smoking room.
Once inside you’ll quickly understand why The Stag’s Head was recently crowned the ‘Best Pub in Ireland’, and after a few pints you’ll never want to leave. With it’s history and charm set firmly in the Victorian era, the pub has aged with ease and now hosts weekly comedy gigs, ukulele jams, and trad music sessions. Whiskey fans take note – the pub boasts a selection of nearly 70 varieties of Irish whiskey!
This month’s pub, An Crúiscín Lán in County Cavan, takes its name from the familiar Irish folk song of the same name. An Crúiscín Lán, or “the full jug”, is a tune that gives praise to the ancient god of wine in hopes that he keeps our jugs full of drink.
Your glass will never run dry at An Crúiscín Lán, located on Main Street in quaint Cavan Town. The interior of the pub boasts rustic exposed stone walls and a long inviting bar where you can belly up for one of the best pints of Guinness in the county. Here you’ll find locals playing darts and watching GAA, horse racing and other sports on the TVs. Visitors often stop in to refuel after exploring the nearby Killykeen Forest Park.
September’s featured pub is Beár An Ráille (a rough Irish translation of "The Railway Bar") located by the train station in Roscommon Town, County Roscommon. Owned by brothers Dale and Dermot Kiernan Beár An Ráille feels like home, but somehow better. The pub is a local hangout for people of all walks of life – inside you’ll find local punters, wide eyed tourists and state solicitors all sitting and mixing together. Everyone gets the same treatment- a warm and friendly welcome and, if they think you're up for it, a bit of slagging (teasing).
Beár An Ráille’s inviting red and yellow exterior leads to a cozy traditional interior complete with wood floors and ceilings, a warm wood stove, and plenty of character. The pub is a relaxed spot for watching local sporting events, catching live music or playing a round of pool with friends. They have also become known for their annual fundraisers for Blood Bikes West – a volunteer run organization that delivers essential blood and urgent medical supplies via motorcycle throughout the West of Ireland.
This month’s featured pub is The Snooty Pig - one of the oldest pubs in Tipperary Town. It was first named after its original owner, Annie Breen, but current owner Mary Dalton renamed it The Snooty Pig, as in bygone years there had been a piggery at the rear of the premises. The pub is a place where old friends meet and new friends are made, and where song and laughter can always be found. With regular live music nights, dart boards, a juke box, card games and pool table you’ll be constantly entertained by the friendly staff and locals.
The Snooty Pig is the place to be if you want to try your hand at skittles – the ancestor of ten-pin bowling that has remained popular in rural Ireland. The pub runs frequent tournaments throughout the year where you can join in or observe from the comfort of the outdoor beer garden. Either way, some serious craic is guaranteed!
July 2017’s pub is The Harp Tavern in County Sligo in northwestern Ireland. The Harp is located in the center of Sligo Town, on the banks of the River Garavogue and in the shadow of the breathtaking Benbulben Mountain – an iconic image of the region. Popular with locals and visitors for its warmth and friendliness, The Harp is a great place to listen to local musicians, cheer on your favorite GAA team, or strike up a spirited conversation. With a woodstove tucked in the corner, warm whiskey drinks, and creamy pints of Guinness, you’ll have no doubt you have found one of the coziest and genuine pubs in all of Sligo.
The Duke, which takes its name from the little street named after the 2nd Duke of Grafton, has been providing liquid refreshment and sustenance to the people of Dublin since 1822. Dripping in history and character, the pub is renowned for providing patrons with a place of quiet respite to enjoy a peaceful drink or some heart warming food throughout the day. Because of its central location in the pulse of the city center, The Duke has enjoyed a distinguished association with many of Ireland’s literary greats. James Stephens, James Joyce, Oliver St. John Gogarty and Arthur Griffith breezed into The Duke regularly in the early days of the century when they wanted a quiet reflective drink. You can now walk in their footsteps, as the Duke is the starting point for the world famous Dublin Literary Pub Crawl. Tom Gilligan is 12th in a line of owners who have all taken great pride in preserving the history and culture of this charming Victorian pub. Today, just as Dubliners have for done for almost 200 years, you can stop in for a friendly pint served up with a slice of history.
May’s pub is a true hidden treasure. Jim of the Mills is legendary-often touted as the best pub in Ireland, most certainty for it’s guaranteed craic, warm hospitality, and brilliant music sessions. Open only one night each week and with just one beer tap, Jim of the Mills is the embodiment of a quintessential family-run Irish pub. Tucked deep in the rolling hills of Upperchurch in County Tipperary, Jim and Kae Ryan along with their five daughters, welcome locals and visitors from around the world into their home each Thursday night. If you are lucky enough to visit this pub you’ll quickly understand the music-loving family’s promise that if you come with a smile you’ll leave with a bigger one. The quaint farmhouse has been in the Ryan family for over 200 years and functioned as a mill for much of that time. The pub’s 3 small rooms, stone floors and massive turf fireplace are steeped in local history and tradition, and if the walls could talk, they’d sing. Music is at the heart of everything at Jim of the Mills – as musicians young and old gather each Thursday to play local songs and traditional tunes all from the heart. Jim of the Mill’s energy is the stuff we all dream of – make a trip there and you’ll feel like you’ve found a pot of gold at the end of an Irish rainbow.
The Irish House Bar in the center of Castlebar in County Mayo is as Irish as it gets. This cozy traditional pub is overflowing with Old World charm and character. You’ll fall in love with just one glance - the outside features an old stone façade, a cheerful green and yellow entryway, and outdoor seating on sunny days. Inside you’ll find a wood-clad interior that holds relics from the past, cozy nooks for rainy days, and pints poured by friendly staff.
In 1893 Mr. James Heverin opened The Irish House as a general drapers shop which sold fabrics for clothing. The local press at the time described the shop as one of the “finest business establishments west of the Shannon River.” Mr. Heverin’s business thrived until the 1950’s when the shop was split into two commercial units – one which now houses the Irish House Bar which was opened by the original owner’s great grandson in 1992. The other half is home to A Stór Ladies Boutique. Both businesses are now proudly being run by the 5th generation of Heverins to occupy the building.
March’s Pub Shirt features The Auld Dubliner, located in the beating heart of the Temple Bar district, is a must on any trip to Dublin. Known for their friendly staff, proper pints, and live music 7 nights a week, the Auld Dubliner has become one of Temple Bar’s most popular watering holes be it day or night. The pub is just a block from the River Liffey, and surrounded by all of the vibrant pubs, shops, museums, and top sights the City has to offer.
Whether you are in the mood for a lively pub atmosphere, a cozy spot to grab some traditional Irish comfort food (try the Dublin coddle made from Molly Malone’s original recipe), or a place to watch a rowdy rugby match you’ll find your place at the Auld Dubliner.
February’s Pub Shirt features The Bridge Bar and Restaurant which was established in 1896 and is located just outside the village of Dunloy. The Bridge Bar is well-known for good, home-cooked traditional Irish fare along with all your favorite brews and drinks. It has an established history for music entertainment and good live music. Join the Club today and get this limited edition t-shirt!
The original building of McCarthy's was constructed in 1875 by a Swiss-Italian gold prospector called John Bonguelmi, who, after making his fortune in the goldfields of Ballarat, Australia and Westport, New Zealand, married a local woman he had met in Australia. Her name was Margaret Horan and she was from Castleisland. They married in New Zealand then returned home and built The Chute Arms Hotel, which opened its doors in 1877. It was a purpose built "hotel" and included servants quarters, a coach house, and, of course, the Bar area. It was built from local limestone that was salvaged from the old Norman Castle that gives the town its name. In 1952, the hotel was sold to a local farmer John McCarthy and his son Tom, who ran the pub. Tom’s youngest son, Tom, took over the pub in 1997 and is still running it today with the help of his family.
Next year, 2017, will see the historic pub opened for its 140th year.If you’re looking for a traditional Irish family run pub with a genuine family feel, look no further than Tom McCarthy's, The Central Bar, 40 Main Street, Castleisland.
County Clare is one of the top spots in Ireland to hear traditional Irish music, or trad for short and Morrissey’s Village Pub is no exception! Located in the heart of beautiful Carrigaholt village, Morrissey’s lively atmosphere is bolstered by regular trad music nights and dance sessions. Visitors come in to enjoy a pint of the world renowned Carrigaholt Guinness and some music and Irish dancing. Our shirt features the iconic Carrigaholt Castle, the town’s most distinctive local landmark that stands over the end of a fishing pier on the River Shannon. Don’t miss a trip to Morrissey’s Village Pub - whether you’re in the mood for music, dance or a chat by the fire, you’re always welcome at Morrissey’s.
The Drift Inn in Buncrana, Co. Donegal finds its home in an old railway station built in 1863. In 1953, the station was converted into a public house while maintaining its original structure and details such as the platform and water tower in the back of the building. The Drift Inn has a strong connection to the sea, being integrated into a fishing town, with fishing nets as decor, a boat-shaped bar, and fresh fish from Greencastle. The Drift Inn prides itself on the rustic charm, and fresh, high-quality, local meat and vegetables to craft its award-winning meals. The Drift Inn has a large selection of alcohol, leaving no meal without a perfectly paired drink. The Drift Inn embodies the culture, food, drinks, and atmosphere Ireland is known for.
The Knights Inn is a fourth generation, family-run pub located in the Town Centre square. The town of Newcastle West grew around a castle Desmond Hall, and the castle ruins, which are well-maintained, are located right off the town square in full view of the Knights Inn. The Knights Inn is a local bar where regulars often come to chat, watch sports and have a bit of craic.
We featured the Knights Inn for October since the name evokes a little “Halloween” feel - it could be creepy but it’s really fun.
To commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11, we featured the Irish pub that is famous for being “the nearest bar to New York.” The shirt showcases the famous mural painted on the western gable of Keating’s Bar – an image of a Guinness pint with the Twin Towers and the Statue of Liberty inside. Passed down through the same family for generations, Keating’s Bar is favorite meeting spot for locals and tourists. Located right on beautiful Kilbaha Bay, on the mouth of the River Shannon – Keating’s patrons love to sit on the sea-wall at the front of the pub, enjoy a pint and take in the “million dollar view.”
Known for it’s iconic red building and rousing entertainment, Murphy’s Pub is a popular spot for locals and visitors to Dingle. Our shirt features a centuries old fishing boat set against the famous deep red of color of the pub. Aside from its large selection of beer, Murphy’s is known for their locally caught Dingle Bay seafood – lunch or dinner at Murphy’s should not be missed. A night out at Murphy’s will almost always include music; with local musicians performing both modern and traditional Irish songs.
An Púcán takes its name from a traditional Irish fishing boat used in Galway Bay, so we featured that boat within the design of our bold, blue July shirt. Located off Eyre Square, An Púcán is a great live music bar featuring traditional Irish music, cover bands and DJs. The bar is also known for its extensive Whiskey menu and is even a part of the Galway Whiskey Trail.
Our very first shirt had to be unforgettable! And yes, this 100+-year old pub is really named after a roaring donkey. Many, many years ago, the bar was a shop/pub frequented by farmers who used to tie their donkeys and carts outside while they went inside to have a drink. Of course, one drink turned to a few and after some time the donkeys would start braying…hence the nickname, which eventually turned into the real name. We immortalized this on our premiere shirt, with a trademark “roaring” donkey and the year the pub was founded, 1880. Today, the pub is known as THE place to go for rugby viewing, live music, and great craic (fun).