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Dublin's Pubs - A Walk Down Memory Lane - Céad Míle Fáilte !!

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

For the simple reason that I'm not doing much these days I thought I might educate

you on the history of Irish pubs so we will all appreciate them a bit more when they reopen !


Irish pubs are very much part of Irish life. Pubs, also known as public houses, began as private homes that were licensed to sell beer and spirits by the families that ran them and lived there. Families commonly began by opening up a downstairs room - typically the dining room -as a "social room " and installing a bar. When they finished business for the day, they locked up and retired to sleep " above the shop ". If business was really good, they opened the kitchen too and even converted bedrooms upstairs for public use. It was common to use the family name as the pub name, hence, pub names like Wheelman's, Doherty's or Mahon's. Life is just not the same with them closed is it ??



The Irish pub soon became the social heart of towns and villages and still is to this day, the reason why we are missing it so much I suppose .. Pubs didn't just sell alcohol, but diversified with necessities like fruit, vegetables, meat and bread. Some sold more unusual goods like bicycles and fishing tackle. Pubs even doubled as undertakers. In 1846, Ireland's Coroner's Act decreed that a dead body could be directed to a public house, and the owner was obliged to house the corpse, so some enterprising owners began undertaking businesses as a profitable sideline.  Pubs often incorporated a "bar" and a "snug"- two different rooms separated by timber and glass screens which came right up to the serving area. Men drank in the bar. Women sipped in the snug. The snug evolved into the lounge, over time, and was marginally more luxurious than the basic bar, with slightly pricier drinks. I think we may see more timber and glass screens in the future but hopefully not pricier drinks!!!


Another feature unique is Traditional Irish music sessions. It has long been associated with Irish pubs, with some pubs earning great reputations for their community based entertainment. Locals would sing or bring along their own instruments, but the main component has always been warmth and hospitality. The fact that a family's livelihood depended on knowing the everyone's name and having the right drink ready when a customer walked through the door was critical in establishing a tradition of good service. To this day a good barman is worth his weight in gold, with a friendly and welcoming face, a good sense of humour and the ability to pour a good pint, he's the man. Can't wait to get back into my favourite pubs again and see that friendly face behind the bar !!


I would love to help you plan your Irish Pub Bucket List so welcome to my blog ! Let's have some fun and for many of you I am sure this will bring back lots of memories of time spent in these magical and historical places ...



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