smoothfm’s Mark Robinson shares one of his favourite memoires of Ireland .
The search for the holy….pint!
Having lived for some years in Ireland, it gave me the opportunity to search out many an Irish pub…purely in the name of research you understand …and it’s fair to say there are plenty to find! At one stage Ireland had a pub for every 250 people, and I’d say it wouldn’t be far behind that now with an even bigger population!
I investigated their snugs (small private areas tucked away inside a pub for friends to discuss the perfect Guinness), and those with great names; The Bleeding Horse in Dublin is my favourite. (My stomach is not strong enough for me to ask how it got its name!).
It’s rare you actually have to search for a pub, literally. But I found that in Oldcastle, County Meath, a few hours north west from Dublin, when staying at Glenboy B&B, a lovely 4 star converted barn within walking distance of the town. If you want real Ireland, it can’t get much better than this in my opinion …cows and craic!
Anyway, back to the pub I couldn’t find … someone said they poured a fine pint in Owen Trainer’s Pub….so wandering the street(s) of Oldcastle, I found the sign, but upon entering I found myself in a small country store (think Ronnie Barker in ‘Open all Hours’) with the quintessential elderly Irishman, shuffling about without a reason in the world to hurry, dispensing anything from ‘Digestive Biscuits’ (a paddy fave) to toilet paper.
Looking around I noticed (between the Coke machine and the lolly rack) a lone unmarked wooden door. Okay, I said to myself, let’s live dangerously, so opened the door and there it was … a pristine little bar from a time past where the shopkeeper doubled as the bartender!
With me and my partner in there, we brought the grand total of patrons to five, so were able to enjoy the true Irish country ambience over a pint of the black stuff… slanté! (That’s cheers in Irish) And for the record…it was a great pint…or two …or three……my memory started to fade soon after….