The Irish Pub

McCarthy’s 8th Rule of Travel: “Never Pass a Pub That Has Your Name on it!” - Pete McCarthy, McCarthy’s Bar

Murphys BarThe Irish Pub Poster project is an effort to capture and preserve the beautiful architecture and art of the traditional Irish pub, an endangered species in Ireland. The visitor may look at these Irish pub posters as the start of an historical preservation project, with more Irish pub posters to follow. On the posters you will find a collection of my favorite Irish pub photos taken in recent years on numerous trips to Ireland. Pubs have family names (Murphy’s, O’Neills, O’Connor’s, etc.) or specialty theme names (The Anchor Tavern, The Long Hall, etc.) over their doors. Some family names over the door are in the Irish language - O’MurchuFeeneys (O’Murphy) and O’Suilleabain (O’Sullivan). Counties Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Sligo, and Limerick are well represented in this Irish pub poster collection. The 800+ year old tradition of the Irish pub lives on. The Brazen Head, Ireland’s official oldest pub, opened its doors in Dublin in 1198 AD. It is still going strong today. In most cities and villages throughout Ireland, you will find traditional Irish pubs with unique colorful, artistic, intricately designed fronts, very pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, pubs in Ireland, especially the rural ones, are closing and disappearing in large numbers due to society changes triggered by no smoking laws and stricter penalties on driving after consuming alcohol. I hope that you enjoy viewing these Irish pub posters and might consider buying one or two. May you be blessed with an opportunity to visit Ireland to view these colorful traditional Irish pubs and apply McCarthy’s 8th Rule of Travel “Never Pass a Pub That Has Your Name on it!”

THE IRISH PUB by Shay Healy

Finns"It is a place of congregation, a political soap-box, a music venue, a clubhouse, a home from home, a drinking parlour, a holy shrine, a mad house, a boxing ring, a house of laughter, a psychiatrist’s couch and it represents the place that is closest to heaven on an Irishman’s journey through this valley of tears. Whilst it isn’t written into the Irish Constitution that every village, town and city in Ireland is obliged to have a pub, they have them anyway. In towns and cities they are sometimes inclined to be brazen husseys of the trade, reeking of cheap perfume and reckless romance. More times they snuggle, softly and demurely, between a shoe shop and a funeral parlour, its yeast flavoured atmosphere paying homage to the wonder of hops. But the Irish pub is not solely a domestic Irish phenomenon. The Irish pub is a ubiquitous component part of Odonoghuesevery civilized and uncivilized society in the world. It is a magnet for those who like the buzz of dialogue, good-natured banter and music that is joyful. They say an Irishman is the only man in the world who would crawl over a line of naked women to get to a bottle of Guinness. This is a heinous slander, as any Irishman worth his salt would not go for less than two. No namby-pambys need apply. The Irish Pub manifests itself as a late house and early house. There are long halls, secretive rooms called snugs, back-rooms and shebeens. It has inside toilets and outside toilets; but the architecture doesn’t much matter as long as it has the mysterious ingredient known as “the craic.” * You can neither see, touch, or hold it, but it is a universal truth that refuge from the storm, can best be provided by having “the craic” in your local Irish pub."

Shay Healy Dublin November 2011

Press Play to hear Shay read "The Irish Pub"

* “Craic” is an Irish term for fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation in a pub or other venue.

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