My friend and colleague Roy Curtis wrote a wonderful piece about pubs in the Sunday World at the weekend.
It was quite an emotional piece. Roy, like me and many others, enjoys a good pub and not just because the pint might be magnificent, but because the company might also be magnificent. And if you happen to be without company, the staff at a good local, should make it just as comfortable as if you were there with your best friends.
Even before this virus struck, my visits to pubs were few and far between. Age, illness and laziness combined to keep me away.
But I know and remember fondly time spent in good pubs. And no, you don’t have to get pissed to enjoy yourself. Connie and I spent magnificent Saturday afternoons in Toner’s for years, chatting with Tommy and Harry and Brendan and Dan and Deirdre. We were an eclectic bunch with nothing in common other than loving Toner’s and talking.
Byrne’s of Galloping Green is where our gang, old school friends, met for weekend pints once it was legal for us to do so.
Brady’s in Terenure was our local in our days in The Star and The Sunday World. It was comfortable because it was owned and run by the Brady family who had previously been the proprietors of the Horse and Tram on Eden Quay where we drank in our Indo days.
I know I’ll probably change this list tomorrow if I read over it.
A book came out a couple of years ago and it contained one paragraph about every pub in Dublin – and that’s almost 1,000.
I ticked off the ones I’d been in. Now remember, back in the day, us reporters had to file our stories without the luxury of mobile ‘phones. And so we visited many, many pubs to use their coin operated ‘phones. It was only manners to have a pint.
I calculated that I have been in 504 pubs in Dublin.
Here’s my Top Twenty.
- Toners of Baggot Street
- Byrne’s of Galloping Green
- Brady’s of Terenure
- The Palace Bar, Fleet Street
- Peter’s Pub, Johnston’s Place
- Mulligan’s Poolbeg Street
- Ryan’s Parkgate Street
- Whelan’s Camden Street
- Ryan’s Camden Street
- Devitt’s Camden Street
- Kehoe’s South Anne Street
- Brogan’s Dame Street
- Grogan’s St William Street
- Hogan’s Sth Great George’s St (Those three make up an area of the city I call the Ogan Triangle.)
- Bowe’s Fleet Street
- McDaids, Harry Street
- Neary’s, Chatham Street
- Bruxelles, Harry Street,
- Hartigan’s Leeson Street
- Peggy Kelly’s Harold’s Cross
Tomorrow, twenty pubs that shut their doors forever.