There are few things sadder, from a community point of view, than the closure of a much loved ‘local’.
Now, I don’t wish to glorify drinking. This item is all about the loss of a local amenity, a place where people gather to discuss family, friends and old times.
And the emphasis this time is on Irish pubs.
In 1994, my wife, Marie; my parents, Jon and Lola Ricketts and I had a week or so in Ireland after following the Australian Rugby League team’s tour of England.
Three of the pubs we visited, to my knowledge, are now closed.
In Galway, there was ‘The Hollwood Bar’, which featured great live music.
Photo 1: The Hollywood Bar
At Westport in County Mayo, there was Geraghty’s Pub, an establishment where my father and I enjoyed a pint, and toasted my wife, Marie’s heritage. Her mum, Mary Donnelly’s maiden name was Geraghty.
Photo 2: With my dad, Jon Ricketts in Westport
And at Lismore, in County Waterford, there was a tiny bar (Greehy’s) which had stopped serving draft beer, given most of the regulars had died, and there wasn’t the demand. Bridget Greehy was the licensee of the establishment, which also sold groceries. She was behind the bar the night we called.
Now, if no-one is actually going to the pub, it’s closure is inevitable. And there are a myriad of reasons behind ‘last orders’ being taken. But, the bottom line is, that many people shed a tear when the doors shut for good, and particularly if the demolition crews follow soon after.
In England, many pubs have become Indian restaurants, and in some cases, prayer halls.
The Hollywood Bar in Galway (named after the owner, Peter Hollywood from County Down), was demolished to make way for an office block.
The live music and ‘craic’ there was always sensational, so for the establishment to be replaced by a sterile office block, truly is sad.
Photo 3: Marie and I with a local at Greehy’s Bar, Lismore.