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
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
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
Eugene’s Pub was a real gem.
Once in the Clare area, we thought why not see some of the other villages? One of the villages we decided to visit was Ennistymon; a quiet, small place and like so many villages in Ireland, it basically consists of a single main street.
Here we found Eugene’s, a pub with windows of leaded glass painted like those of a church. Damien explained to me that a sign outside of “Father Ted”, was of the main character of a T.V. show that was very popular in Ireland and even more so in the West. This was the second pub we had seen on our short westerly trip that had a reference to this show (the other one being Kennys in Lahinch). The rain encouraged us to go inside this cosy looking pub for an evening drink. Continue reading
Kenny’s window was adorned with a festive guitar-playin’ Father Ted & Co.
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
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