The 16 remaining original Victorian era pubs of Dublin

Millions of people flock to Dublin every year for a chance to see up close, just what makes a Dublin pub so special. For most, the older the better. There is no shortage of authentically traditional pubs in the city, but as the decades go by, the numbers drop. Some of the best pubs in Dublin were built in the Victorian era, which stretched from 1837 to 1901. Many of these remain to this day and retain the majority of their original fixtures and their Victorian characteristics.

In Kevin C. Kearns’ ‘Dublin pub life and lore’, he lists the remaining Victorian pubs still in operation today. Sincethe book was published, 2 have closed down, Conways on Parnell street and Regans on Tara street. Here we will go through the remaining pubs and just why they are worth preserving and why they are part of Dublin’s rich heritage and remain some of the best places to go for a pint.

Interesting to note is that most of these pubs have snugs, which are a rare sight in modern pubs.

The Palace bar, Fleet street

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The Palace bar is still richly celebrated as one of the most traditional bars in the city, drawing in tourists from the Temple Bar area looking for a more authentic experience. A pub where writers, journalists, artists, and others have congregated for decades. They still have a great tradition of supporting the GAA and traditional music. They have a lovely traditional snug and have moved with the times by offering a good selection of Irish craft beer.

Toners, Baggot street

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Toners has a reputation of having one of the best pints of Guinness in the city according to Rory Guinness, a descendant of Arthur. It still retains its character on the inside and they have tried to recreate it in their newer beer garden. The snug was in recent years voted best in the country.

Doheny and Nesbitt, Baggot street

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A pub mostly associated with journalists and the local business crowd, Dohenys is still very much traditional. It’s a big rugby pub, and they also have traditional music from Sunday to Tuesday nights.

 

The Swan, Aungier street

One of our favourite pubs in the city. The fixtures remain the same, and they proudly boast of their status as a Victorian era heritage pub. You can still see signs behind the bar that advertise ‘Colour TV available here’ from when the bar started to modernise in terms of what they offer.

 

The Long Hall, Georges street

One of the quintessential Dublin pubs for those visiting and looking for a bit of tradition. Bruce Springsteen is known to drink here when he’s in town, and who could argue with his taste. The walls are decorated with muskets, antique clocks, and other period paraphernalia. A Dublin classic.

 

Slatterys, Capel street

Slatterys is listed in the book as being a Victorian era pub, but there have been some recent renovations. These were mostly of the upper floor, so it shouldn’t affect the pubs Victorian status. It is also one of the few remaining early houses in the city, opening early in the morning for those who work unsociable hours.

 

The Stag’s Head, Dame Lane

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The jewel in the crown of the Louis Fitzgerald pub group, and one of the most recognisable pub names in the city. There’s a large snug room behind the bar that is extremely cosy and retains a stained glass ceiling. If you see footage of the pub from the 60s and 70s you could barely tell the difference to today, bar the increase in taps on the counter.

 

Ryans, Parkgate street

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Also known as Bongo Ryans, it has one of the most sought after snugs in the city. Like all Victorian pubs, it features large ornately carved wooden dividers that break up the bar.

 

The International Bar, Exchequer street

Best known as the home of stand up comedy in the city. The main bar is quite a small space, but it’s one of the most homely in the city.

Gaffneys, Fairview

The Hut, Phibsboro

Bowes, Fleet street

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Bowes recently reopened their new snug after a bit of a refurb. Plans were underway to expand the bar into the neighbouring Doyles and ladbrokes, but the planning permission was turned down. this may well be a good thing for admirers of Bowes, as it will retain all the makes it good.

Kehoes, South Anne street

Such is the popularity of Kehoes, it can be hard to get a seat in this well worn and well loved pub. When full, it can appear to be a bit of a mazey design, with creaking stairs taking you to areas you wouldn’t expect existed. The snug beside the bar to the left as you walk in is a fine place to meet with friends.

Finnegans, Dalkey

 

Cassidys, Camden street

Come in here on a Sunday after an All Ireland final and you’ll fear for the safety of the structure! It heaves with fans adoring both the victorious Dubs and this fine pub. Bill Clinton stopped in here for a pint in the 90s on a presidential visit.

 

The Norseman, East Essex street

When the book we are referencing from was published, this pub was known as The Norseman, it then became Farringtons, and it has now reverted back to The Norseman. A fine treat for visitors to Temple Bar to be able to have a pint in an original Victorian era pub.

There are a number of other pubs that have strong characteristics of the Victorian age, but are not clasically Victorian, including…

  • Mulligans Poolbeg street
  • Mulligans Stoneybatter
  • Hanlons North Circular road
  • Kavanaghs Aughrim street
  • The Gravediggers Glasnevin
  • McDaids Harry street
  • The Lord Edward Christchurch
  • The Portobello Rathmines
  • Slatterys Rathmines
  • The Brazen Head Bridge street
  • Searsons Baggot street
  • Sandyford House

 

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Ireland named ‘best destination in Europe’ by US travel publication

It’s the third year in a row Ireland has picked up the award from Travel Weekly.

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TOURISM CHIEFS ARE hailing another accolade from US travel sector ‘bible’ Travel Weekly, after Ireland was named as Europe’s ‘best destination’ by the publication.
It’s the third year in a row Ireland has picked up the award.
“We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out for this award in the United States,” Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said in a statement.

« Travellers nowadays have tremendous choice, which makes it more important than ever for us to ensure the island of Ireland stands out from other destinations. »

Figures released at the end of last month showed more tourists had visited Ireland in 2016 than ever before. The CSO stats showed an 11.6% increase in overseas visits to the country between January and October.

Despite the fact that the country is now on course for nine million tourists this year, Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Shaun Quinn urged caution and warned against complacency in the sector.

He said:
« However, unexpected events during the year – such as Brexit – serve as a warning that we can take nothing in life for granted and are a good antidote to any creeping complacency in the tourism sector. »

Gibbons said in his statement today that by the year’s end “we will have welcomed about 1.6 million American and Canadian visitors, delivering revenue of €1.4 billion for the economy throughout 2016 ».

Travel Weekly is the leading weekly paper for American travel agents, and some 15,000 of its readers voted in the various categories earlier this year.

In case you were wondering, the ‘best destination’ for Africa this year was South Africa, the best US state was Hawaii and the favourite destination for the Asia/Pacific region was Australia.

 

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Titanic Belfast named King of the World!

Titanic Belfast have just been crowned the ‘World’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ at the prestigious World Travel Awards in the Maldives!

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Having already beaten the Colosseum, the Acropolis and the Eiffel Tower to become Europe’s official Leading Tourist Attraction, we’ve now sailed our way to victory, becoming the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction!! With over 1 million votes cast from over 216 countries in the awards, known as the ‘Tourism Oscars’, Titanic Belfast was awarded the title this afternoon, after beating off stiff competition from eight global finalists – including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the Las Vegas Strip, USA, Machu Picchu, Peru and Guinness Storehouse, Ireland. It is the first time an attraction from Ireland, North or South, has won the prestigious accolade. Tim Husbands MBE, our Chief Executive, said; “Over the past few years, we have continued to go from strength to strength but to be voted the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction by both the industry and the public for excellence and for our original product, is really the jewel in our crown. We are delighted that this award firmly shines a spotlight not only on Titanic Belfast but Belfast and Northern Ireland, and celebrates our authentic insight and connection to RMS Titanic. “The Titanic story captures hearts and minds throughout the world and at Titanic Belfast, this is no exception. Our interpretation of the story and ability to engage with visitors on many different levels has been fundamental in winning this award. With the award, we hope to attract more tourists to Northern Ireland to discover it. A huge thank you to our staff and all our supporters that voted, locally and across the world, to help us reach this iconic goal of being the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction.” –

See more at:
http://titanicbelfast.com/Blog/December-2016/Titanic-Belfast-named-King-of-the-World!.aspx?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Link&utm_content=WTA2016&utm_campaign=Content+Marketing&utm_source=Titanic+Belfast+Customers&utm_campaign=5011521d8e-WTA_Final_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ef62fde800-5011521d8e-294256529

Killarney hotel wins two awards in two weeks including Best Overall Hotel in Ireland

The Europe Hotel & Resort in Killarney has come up trumps at the 2016 National Hospitality Awards, winning Best Overall Hotel.
This is the second award the hotel has picked up lately, winning Hotel Spa of the Year at the European Hospitality Awards in London last week.


General Manager Michael Brennan has said they were thrilled with the wins: ““There are many fantastic hotels in Ireland, so we’re delighted to have won this award. It is a testament to the amazing team that we have working at The Europe, whose dedication to our customers is second to none.”
Commenting on the award for Hotel Spa of the Year, Spa Manager Victoria Ceesay said, “Winning Hotel Spa of the Year at the European Hospitality Awards is a huge achievement for us.”
The Europe Hotel & Resort is located on the shores of Lough Lein and beside the McGillycuddy Reeks mountain range.

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32 Irish pubs named in Michelin’s ‘Eating Out in Pubs’ Guide for 2017

Larkin's, Poacher's Inn and The Old Spot have each retained their place in the Michelin 'Eating Out in Pubs' guide.

Thirty-two pubs across the north and south of Ireland have retained their places in Michelin’s latest ‘Eating Out in Pubs’ guide, but no new Irish entries have featured on 2017’s list.

Of the 32 pubs featured in the guide, 25 are in the Republic of Ireland, while seven pubs in Northern Ireland have held onto their spots on the prestigious list.

County Down continues to lead the way in terms of the country’s best pub grub, with six establishments, including Pheasant in Annahild and the Poacher’s Pocket in Comber, holding their spots in the guide for 2017.

Cork continues to trump the capital in terms of pub gourmet, holding five listings in the guide, including Deasy’s in Clonakilty, Mary Ann’s in Castletownshend and Bandon’s Poacher’s Inn.

Lisdoonvarna’s Wild Honey Inn and Toddies at The Bulman in Kinsale have each received an ‘Inspectors’ Favourite’ accolade in the most recent guide.

Dublin’s The Old Spot and Kildare’s Harte’s, who entered the guide for the first time last year, have held onto the prestigious mention in the guide, which was published on Friday.

Guide editor Rebecca Burr said the quality of the fare in many pubs now rival that of restaurants: “We are increasingly witnessing how pubs can provide a platform for young chefs to start their own businesses, and how inventive these chefs can be, particularly when it comes to the sourcing of their ingredients.”

Antrim

Billy Andy’s at Mounthill, near Larne

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Clare

Morrissey’s (Doonbeg), Vaughan’s Anchor Inn (Liscannor), Wild Honey Inn (Lisdoonvarna) and Linnane’s Lobster Bar (New Quay)

Linnane’s in New Quay

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Cork

Mary Ann’s (Castletownshend), Poacher’s Inn (Bandon), Deasy’s (Clonakilty), Cronin’s (Crosshaven) and Toddies at The Bulman (Kinsale)

Poacher’s Inn in Bandon

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Down

Pheasant (Annahilt), Poacher’s Pocket (Comber), Parson’s Nose and Plough Inn (both in Hillsborough) Pier 36 (Donaghadee) and Balloo House (Killinchy).

Pheasant’s in Annahilt Co. Down

Dublin

Old Spot and Chop House (both in Ballsbridge)

The Old Spot

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Galway

Moran’s Oyster Cottage (Kilcolgan) and O’Dowd’s (Roundstone)

Band Arcade Fire visit Moran’s in Kilcolgan

 

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Kerry

O’Neill’s Seafood Bar (Caherciveen)

Kildare

Harte’s (Kildare), Ballymore Inn (Ballymore Eustace) and Fallon’s (Kilcullen)

The Ballymore Inn in Kildare

Leitrim

Oarsman (Carrick-on-Shannon)

The Oarsman in Carrick-on-Shannon

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Louth

Fitzpatricks (Jenkinstown)

Mayo

The Tavern (Murrisk) and Sheebeen (Westport)

Sligo

Hargadons (Sligo Town)

Tipperary

Larkins (Garrykennedy)

Larkins in Garrykennedy Tipperary

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Wexford

Lobster Pot (Carne)

The Lobster Pot (Carne)

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Wicklow

Byrne & Woods (Roundwood).

 

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Skelligs feel the force as visitor numbers rise

Visitor numbers to Skellig Michael, the precipitous monastic island off the coast of Kerry which closed for the season yesterday, were up this year on the back of the success of Star Wars.

By the middle of September, a total of 13,500 people had visited the 6th century monastic island, a Unesco World Heritage Site, according to the Office of Public Works.

A rockfall, which required sensitive repairs to the main visitor road, delayed the official mid-May opening by just one day.

The island has become the centre of attention in recent years following the success of the latest Star Wars movie The Force Awakens.

Last year, 2015, some 12,560 visited Skellig Michael by season’s end in October.

Boatmen who ferry visitors across 12km of often rough seas to and from the island are again calling for the visitor season — the official period when OPW guides are living on the island to cater to visitors — to return to the traditional May 1 to October 31 season which ceased in 2007.

Seánie Murphy, a long-time Skellig boatman, operating from Portmagee, said 16 days had been lost this September because the boats could not travel due to bad weather; the season is already shortened by 74 days and this is directly affecting tourism business all over south Kerry.

“It doesn’t just affect the boatmen to the Skeillig, it affects everyone — hotels, guesthouses, bars in Killarney and all over the area,” Mr Murphy said.

Extending the season would help satisfy both the Star Wars attraction, as well as the latent demand there anyway, Mr Murphy said.

The OPW has previously rejected calls to extend the season, citing bad weather in October, as well as the need to protect the fragile island from too many visitors.

 

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Irish craic explained – the top six levels of craic you can reach

Craic is the Irish word that most confuses outsiders. Yet it is a relatively simple concept. It is the atmosphere, fun, carry on surrounding a particular night out. ”How was the craic” is the first question uppermost in most young Irish minds after a weekend.

Craic

Here’s the encyclopaedia definition:

“Craic” (/kræk/ KRACK), or “crack”, is a term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, particularly prominent in Ireland. It is often used with the definite article – the craic.

Here we rate the six kinds of craic (actually an English word which for some reason is in every Irish person’s soul).

  1. Good craic: A fairly ok night out, fun but nothing too amazing.
  2. Mighty craic: Better than good craic, not quite at the highest level, someone did some crazy stuff maybe.
  3. Savage craic: Almost there, great night all together, everyone on top firm, Guinness flowing, great jokes.
  4. Deadly craic: A step above savage but not quit the Everest moment.
  5. The craic was ninety: The nirvana of craic, everything was amazing, incredible, everyone hooked up, the pints were great. No one quite sure how the word ninety came into it–a famous Christy Moore song “The craic was ninety in the Isle of Man” maybe. And lastly!
  6. Minus craic: That’s when a night goes wrong and essentially you’d have had more fun in a mausoleum.

So there are the six kinds of craic!

 

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Ireland’s bed & breakfasts: The secret to connecting with the Irish

By Kate and Mike Lancor

This past June we made our fifth journey to the Emerald Isle in the past six years. In our opinion, there is no better way to connect with Irish people and other visitors than to stay in Ireland’s most fantastic bed and breakfasts (B&Bs). Let us share with you some of the reasons we have become diehard B&B customers.

A warm and friendly greeting always awaits us when the front door opens. We have been treated to homemade jam and scones, a “cuppa” tea, homemade Irish brown bed, freshly baked apple pie, Irish coffee, and even Irish whiskey before even unpacking our bags! Our hosts and hostesses are always full of great information about local pubs, restaurants, back roads, special local sites to visit, and where to go to hear traditional Irish music.

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The conversation during breakfast is enchanting. The “Irish brogue” is charming to listen to and gives Kate a chance to break into her own “Irish brogue” picked up from her childhood living in North Albany, NY (referred to as Little Limerick). Mike often needs an interpreter once Kate breaks into the “Brogue.”

Our hosts and hostesses have always loved to talk about Irish and American politics, sports (especially football and hurling), the economy at home and abroad, and of course, the weather. They even seem to know what time of day it will rain!

Did we mention breakfast? Every B&B we have stayed in takes great pride in offering a “Full Irish Breakfast” to each and every guest. Don’t be shy about asking for a modified version, especially if you have already spent a few nights in B&Bs. There is always a continental breakfast available as an option.

Meeting and sharing stories with tourists from other countries is a highlight of the B&B experience. We have had wonderful conversations with tourists from Scotland, Wales, England, Germany, France, Brazil, Australia, and yes, even the US. We always enjoy sharing perspectives about worldly issues with visitors from all over the globe.

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B&B hosts and hostesses are known for their personal touches. We have been sung to on more than one occasion, had beautiful prose passages read to us, Irish music played to us on flutes and other instruments, and served a dish of yogurt topped with strawberries and blueberries made to look like the host’s little terrier dog Sidney!

We have been “chasing” our Irish ancestors for years and are avid genealogists. Most importantly, our host and hostesses have helped us make connections. They have called local churches and town offices to make appointments for us, sent us down one-lane roads to find out of the way cemeteries, and even connected us by phone with long lost cousins. In fact, we have shared genealogy information with four different sets of long lost relatives. These connections would not have happened unless we were staying in B&Bs.

We personally book our own B&Bs by emailing each B&B directly. That way we can ask questions and exchange information (e.g. genealogy, sites of interest) before our visit. Oh, and by the way, did we mention that parking is always free at B&Bs.

FT5S+Kate+Mike+BB+14+Slidala+B+B+Roscrea

 

Our Irish experience has been made so much richer by staying in B&Bs. We have become friends with many of our hosts and hostesses and have returned to stay with them again. Booking B&Bs may not be as easy as booking hotels, but hopefully we have convinced you to go the B&B route when you plan your first or next trip to Ireland. You won’t regret it.

* Kate and Mike Lancor live in Moultonborough, NH and enjoy “chasing” their own ancestors as well as helping others “chase” theirs. They can be reached by emailing oldfriendsgenealogy@gmail.com or on their Oldfriends Genealogy Facebook page.

 

 

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Dublin named world’s third friendliest city (and No.6 isn’t bad either)

Dublin and Galway have been named among the world’s ten friendliest cities by readers of Condé Nast Traveler.

“The people make the place here,” said one reader of Dublin.

The city placed third on the list, behind Charleston in South Carolina and Sydney, Australia – and just ahead of Queenstown, New Zealand.

Dublin Hapenny bridge

“We had the best recommendations on where to go and what to see from the locals,” said another visitor. “Better than any guide book.”
“I’ve never been somewhere with friendlier drinkers,” added a third.

Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 10 friendliest cities:

  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Queenstown, New Zealand
  • Park City, Utah
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Bruges, Belgium
  • Nashville, Tennessee
    The list was complied based on Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Survey, taken by some 128,000 readers in 2015, according to the magazine.

“Just look at this city,” it says of Galway. “It’s hard not to be charmed.”
Live music, pubs and food “enchanted” its readers, the travel bible adds. “These are the friendliest people I have ever met,” commented one reader.

Galway was named the world’s friendliest city by readers of another US publication, Travel + Leisure, last year, with Dublin ranking third and Cork fourth.
“Again and again, our research shows us that the friendliness of our people is one of our unique selling points,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.

“It is the warm welcome and the ‘craic’ here that resonates with our overseas visitors and makes our cities, and the island of Ireland, such a great choice for a short break or holiday.”
Meanwhile, Condé Nast Traveler’s list of the world’s unfriendliest cities was topped by Newark, followed by Tijuana, Mexico and Oakland in California.

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