Author Archives: Damien

O’Donoghue’s, A True Dubliner

Outside O'Donoghue's familiar black & white exterior

Outside O’Donoghue’s familiar black & white exterior

O’Donoghue’s, Our Old Friend

O’Donoghue’s is our go-to pub. There, I said it, there’s no mystery to it. Rail, hail or shine, no matter what the occasion, O’Donoghue’s can cover it. It’s not the prettiest, the most comfortable nor the most steeped-in-history of Ireland’s pubs but by god, it is one damn fine boozer. If you’re looking simply to pop in somewhere for a drink over the newspaper or while catching the match on T.V., O’Donoghue’s is ideal. If you’re peckish, the guys there will whip up a toasted sandwich for you. If you’re after a proper, full-on night out among a lively, mixed crowd, O’Donoghue’s guarantees it, with a bustling, varied clientele heaving all the way from the old bar on one side, through the beer garden across to the newer part of the bar. Continue reading

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Filed under Co. Dublin, Dublin 2

Toners’ strikes golden tone among great pubs of Baggot Street

Toners Pub, Baggot Street, Dublin 2

Toners Pub is a perennial fixture of the busy Lower Baggot Street social scene

200 Year Old Formula

A few plain facts point to the wonder of Toners pub of Baggot Street, Dublin 2. The pub is almost two hundred years in operation and yet it remains largely unaltered, working off the same successful formula it always has. Bearing in mind that it is within a stone’s throw of other truly great pubs, not least Doheny & Nesbitt and O’Donoghues, its longevity and simultaneous resistance to change are all the more impressive. Granted there have been a few additions over the years such as a beer garden out back and an upstairs function room, to cater for the larger, occasional crowds but the kernel of the pub is essentially unchanged, with a single television parked high in the corner, the only hint at modernity. Continue reading

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Filed under Co. Dublin, Dublin 2

Brennan’s (The Criterion) offers stately retreat in motley Bundoran

View from back lounge

The view from the back lounge across into the main, front bar. Brennan’s offers an oasis of calm on the busy main street of bustling Bundoran. (Photo by Angelika Appelqvist)

Born on St. Patrick’s

With St. Patrick’s Day just passed once again, it calls to mind our visit to the charming Brennan’s (aka. ‘The Criterion’) pub in the coastal town of Bundoran, Co. Donegal. Brennan’s opened in 1900 on St. Patrick’s Day and has been delighting patrons ever since. Few pubs that we have visited on our travels, have left such an indelible impression as Brennan’s. It is a place entirely locked in time, unspoilt and genuinely offering a glimpse of a bygone era. One of the common traits of these fine, old pubs is their capacity to steadfastly remain authentic and unaltered in the face of a rapidly, changing world right outside their doorsteps. Nowhere in Ireland is this resilence more pronounced than in lovely Brennan’s, sitting discretely on the main street in brash, tourist-focused Bundoran. What lies beyond its understated frontage is a pub of delightful character, offering tranquility, charm and homeliness. Continue reading

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Filed under Bundoran, Co. Donegal

Thomas Connolly’s sets the standard for Sligo Town pub-hoppin’

Thomas Connolly's front bar with regulars

A few regulars rightfully had prime seating at the front bar, keeping an eye on the racing on T.V. The Guinness Toucan lamp threw off a warm glow to help the lads read the betting odds from their papers.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett

New Dawn

I probably shouldn’t quote Beckett today, what with being deep in Yeat’s country but alas, these words seem apt. The ‘R.E. Public House’ blog has struggled to get off the ground since its original inception and yet myself & Angelika are certain that it will come to pass. 2013 presents a new dawn on many fronts and equally hope is in the air regarding our ongoing, joyous pub-hunting. While it has been quiet in words this past while, trust us; it has not been quiet in deed, so we have plenty of pub tales to share with you, starting from where we are at today, happy and relaxed in groovy Sligo Town on this the 9th day of February, 2013. Continue reading

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Filed under Co. Sligo, Sligo, Sligo Town

Homely Kenny’s Hits The Spot

Kenny's Pub, Lahinch, Co. Clare

Kenny’s window was adorned with a festive guitar-playin’ Father Ted & Co.

Lahinch’s Finest

Lahinch village, County Clare, has just about enough main stretches of street to form a single large ‘J’-shape, so in saying we comprehensively explored the place for the cream of its public house crop, we may be overstating our efforts.

However, to the extent that we could be thorough about our jovial pursuit, we did sample all the available options at hand over the course of the whole weekend. Equally, as you’ll know, even the tiniest of Irish villages has such numbers of pubs to make a pub-crawl feel more like a game of door-to-door hopscotch. Continue reading

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Filed under Co. Clare, County, Lahinch, Locality

Out West for a New Year’s Pub Quest

Fine Beach at Liscannor Bay, Lahinch

The fine beach at Liscannor Bay, Lahinch, Co. Clare

Our journey begins in the blustery village of Lahinch, which sits perched on the western edge of Ireland staring out proudly into gorgeous Liscannor Bay towards the great expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Well, truth be known, our journey began some twelve months previous, of a brisk January eve in the familiar surrounds of the Doheny & Nesbitt pub back in Dublin. If we’re being totally frank here, it could likely even be traced back to a few shifty swigs of Linden Village cider under an old railway bridge a full near twenty years previous but let’s not go there. It’s far too early in the morning and the stiff Atlantic gusts would cut right through you. Continue reading

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Filed under Co. Clare Pubs, Pubs