The worst thing is I didn’t even balk when I read of the €9 Irish pint… I know Temple Bar well Raising the Bar.
This though is the fall-out from the Irish Government plan to get their greatest asset, their pubs, reopened.
Punters will be allowed back in but will only get their favourite pint of plain (that’s Guinness to you and me) if they sit down for a meal.
The Irish drinker
Yes, it’s not the Irish pub experience you might have heard of, the heaving mass of humanity packed in like sardines.
But, in truth, Irish pubs have adapted more than any other country across my five decades.
And the Irish have often been leading while others have merely followed.
Remember it was the Irish who were the first country in the world to ban smoking in pubs.
And they said that wouldn’t work!
Irish pubs may be different from the one my Mum was brought up in with her Daddy, Masssey (or Mammy) and five sisters and four brothers in Co. Donegal.
No Sky TV, no jukebox… instead a haze of smoke, a sing-song and a roaring fire.
And a counter where you could buy every grocery or hardware item you might need in an Irish hamlet (or downland).
The roaring fire is still there at my mum’s hotel/bar, the Ramblers Inn in Brockagh, and welcome from Con who doffs his hat to my Mum’s family with a noticeboard of pictures from her childhood.
And puts out a giant teapot, doorstep sandwiches and home-made brack cake.
And some fuel for the fire
The last time we visited was on the eve of Arthur’s Day, a national branded exercise which ran from 2009-2013
And drew thousands to pubs around the country with live entertainment.
It was quiet the day we dropped in on my Mum’s old pub with the only other customer propped up on a barstool, Guinness in hand.
I asked him what he’d be doing for Arthur’s Day when Con piped in… ‘Same as every other day, eh?’
Irish Country pubs is what people come here for.
It doesn’t have to be so different post-Covid.
Just order your pint, loaf of bread, cheese, milk, needle and thread, peat briquettes and kindling.
And where is your favourite Country pub. Tell me and we’ll share the love.