It’s like shutting cafes in France or shisha shops in the Middle East… there would be a riot. But this week the unthinkable has happened in Ireland, the pubs are shut.
Because of coronavirus. And in St Patrick’s Week too.
So here are five of my favourite Irish bars around the world where you can have a shindig. Some time!
The Irish Centre, Medjugorje, Bosnia & Herzegovina: OK, so a Marian site in the Balkans is maybe not what you were expecting.
But this is where pilgrims, and my pilgrims of choice are Marian Pilgrimages www.marian.ie What’s the story, Medjugorje? Wouldn’t you like to know go for some respite from Mass and the rosary.
They’ll have the football on (the barman is a huge Dynamo Zagreb fan) or I dare say Gaelic sports if you ask.
While the local Franciscan monks will even fix the telly, and the rugby, although his miraculous powers stop at making Ireland beat New Zealand.
Pat O’Brien’s, Orlando, Florida: Well, you’d need a largely Irish party (Irelando, if you like) and drink, to loosen the vocal chords for us to sing One Direction.
But that’s what a giant Hurricane cocktail will do for you.
Pat’s on Universal’s CityWalk has duelling pianists battering out standards…
‘And I came, and I gave without taking, and you sent me away… I’m Murty!’
Ri Ra Irish Pub, Las Vegas: Where I learned to pour the perfect pint of Guinness. I already knew how to drink the perfect one.
In Ri Ra Irish Pub which is modelled on an old Irish front room.
It’s actually in the Guinness Store at Mandalay Place where we learned how to pour ’em. How? You’ll have to find out for yourself.
Murphy’s Irish Pub, Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam: And I’ve a confession to make here I prefer the sweeter stout, Murphy’s to Guinness.
Heck, what am I confessing to? Corkonians swear to it ahead of the Dublin drink Guinness.
But then the Corkonians and Dubliners don’t agree on anything, they’ve a tea war going and Cork challenges Dublin as the real capital.
Now the Irish take airport drinking to a whole new level… and Schiphol is on a different level to most airports I’ve been through.
The Duke of York/Dark Horse, Belfast, Northern Ireland: Now you’re still on the island of Ireland here.
And I dare say this is where the drinkers of the south will rush to.
The Crown, with its ornate snugs designed by the Italians who had come to craft the churches, is perhaps more lauded.
But the Duke of York in the trendy Cathedral Quarter is where myself and my Queen of Dragons decamped…
When we were up visiting the Son and Heir who is still living up there.
My Queen wanted to see one of the Game of Thrones wooden doors on the much-trodden trail.
There are ten doors throughout Northern Ireland, hewn from the wood of the trees which fell in a storm years ago.
But not any old trees but those from the tree-lined road in Ballymoney, known as Kingsway to Thronies.
And don’t tell anyone but we drank tea! Lyons or Barry’s? It’s the North so for political reasons we had Tetley’s.
Happy Paddy’s Day