Sitting directly across from City Hall on the corner of the historic promenade of Dame Street and the equally historic Crane Lane, The Oak is a pub I must start by admitting to you that I’ve never spent an awful lot of time in. Nowadays I’m reasonably happy enough to admit that the reasons for this are probably a bit nuanced and snobbish, but way back when I was a young naive pintboy in training the cause of this was far more primal.

I can tell you now, with all these years of hindsight under my belt, that my reticence toward frequenting this particular bar back then was a textbook case of ‘once bitten, twice shy’. You see, I was at that impressionable stage of life where one finds themselves at a crossroads, that delicate hour where it becomes time to take up the mantle laid by generations gone before. It was time to start drinking pints of stout.

So with cautious abandon, I began dipping my toe in the proverbial dark ruby sea and set about acquiring a taste for this seemingly unassailable brew. But alas when I chose The Oak as my dispenser of same I found myself to fall afoul of the dreaded ‘bad pint’.

It’s all good and well nowadays with scores of vans servicing the pubs of the city with regard to their stout-pouring apparatus, but before this was widespread practice a bad pint wasn’t one where the taste was a little off, or the head was too thin. A bad pint back then was something that attacked you with a severity synonymous to that of salmonella. I dare say that this unlucky order may well have set my acclimatisation to Guinness off course by a good 12 months or so.

The Oak, in its current guise is a far larger premises than it originally once was given that it is now comprised of the original pub and the adjoining building which sits on the corner of Parliament and Dame St. This larger part of the complex was previously called Thomas Read’s, a name it took from its neighbour (which was once of Dublin’s oldest shops) and was accessible from the original pub for as long as this author’s memory will stretch. This section is fairly plush and continental and isn’t really of concern to us in this article. The main bar, the original Oak is the space in particular to which we refer here. Having been tarted up in recent years with some new fittings, furniture and a good dollop of red velvet, the bar is looking a good bit more upscale than it once did. What remains as part of the bar though are the Oak panels which gave it its name. These unassuming pieces of wood, believe it or not, have probably crossed the Atlantic more times than you’ve crossed O Connell Street given that they were installed in the bar after being salvaged from the ocean liner The RMS Mauretania after it was decommissioned in 1934.

Thankfully nowadays the pint is much improved from that which I tried to cut my teeth with back in the day. Not the greatest in the area but not the worst either. Unfortunately, none of us happens to remember the price tag on the pint in there. The last time I ventured into the place was in the wee hours a Christmas or two ago and with a sheet or two toward the gales. I’m not ashamed to admit that my only abiding memory of this evening was of talking to an Irish celebrity gardener who was far gone in G&Ts and speaking exclusively in posh, soutside-sounding mumbles about rare geraniums and the like.

It’s not a pub we could fault too greatly though. Its newfound grandeur might unconsciously send us looking for somewhere a bit more threadbare, and its proximity to The Lord Edward certainly leaves it the less of our concern on the often, but it’s definitely not somewhere we’d advise you avoid.

Lofty ceilings, exposed brick, Joycean knee-tremblers. These are the things that come to mind when we sit to reflect on the Lincoln’s Inn…

Plonked curvedly along the headlong turn that stops traffic from continuing on to Nassau Street, The Lincoln is pub which needs no shiny PR Company to cobble together some contrived back story about itself in order to give it some historical justification as a classic Dublin boozer. Given its location, it already has that in spades. Now, you’re probably sick and tired of hearing me banging on about how this pub and that pub had this or that connection with big Jim Joyce, but this is another one. And an important one at that! It was on a fine 10th of June in 1904 that Jimmy peeled back his eyepatch and set both eyes upon a chambermaid by the name of Nora Barnacle in Finn’s Hotel and the rest, as they say, was history. 6 days later on the 16th of June, himself and Nora took a wander up to Ringsend and eh, well, refer to point three of the opening sentence.

Alas, Finn’s Hotel is no more, a ghost sign remains on the gable end of the building and the name of the hotel was immortalised when used as the title of a collection of narratives written by Joyce but nowadays it’s known as The Lincoln’s Inn.

Truth be told, this isn’t a boozer we’re overly familiar with. We have been in a few times over the years but we won’t be getting classed as locals anytime soon. The pub is split down the middle into two sections. The left side of the house is the less formal side – higher tables and seats abound and it feels to us to be the better side of the place for drinking. The right-hand side of the house feels a bit more restaurant with its low seating. Throughout, the place is carefully decorated – the high ceilings along with the ornate pillars and gold light fittings make for an experience dissimilar to that of your common-or-garden Dublin pub, it’d nearly remind you of an older pub you might find in Berlin or Brussels or the like.

The bar sits at the back of the room entirely and is a good placement in the author’s opinion. The Guinness is good, in fact, I’ve had some excellent pints in here. It’s gone a good year or so since any of the last of us visited, and it having being a bit of a wobbly visit we can’t say with any degree of certainty how the prices looked back then. Having texted around – I’ve heard prices ranging between a fiver and five fifty, but leave that with us to get a more definitive answer there.

That’s about all we have to say on this boozer for the time being. You could do far worse than to end up supping on a few pints there. If you ever happen to get notions about yourself, there’s a fine day of culture to be had in the vicinity with The Dead Zoo around the corner and The National Gallery across the way. And what better way to bookend any of that than a few scoops in The Lincoln, and who knows? You could be off to Ringsend in six days yourself too.

Did you ever hear that one about a lad out in the middle of the desert in the United Arab Emirates years ago? He was wandering around amidst the unspoilt golden sand with his friend, a man from County Cork, and thinking aloud he turned to his friend and said: “I think I’m going to build a city here in the desert”. Looking in agreement the Corkman turned to his friend and replied with two words – “Do Boy!”

You might forgive for the Da joke there but, albeit tenuous, it seemed like a decent way to introduce my next and even more tenuous point given that it brings me onto the subject of Dubai.

Dubai, to me, looks like shite craic. Alongside the annoyance of rich lads measuring their respective flutes via the means of consumerism – it’s a bit like a trip to the beach, but taken to the extreme – hot, sandy and difficult to get a gargle. Just not the sort of place I’d be prioritising a visit to. The heat is bad, it is but the drink is probably my main concern.

Drink is treated strangely over in Dubai as far as I can ascertain, it’s heavily regulated and you can seemingly be arrested for landing in the country with a few pints in the system. But that said, you can get a scoop over there and it would seem that one of the foremost places to do so is in one of a number of places which are the namesake of this unassuming Smithfield boozer – McGettigan’s. Anecdotally, by drunk men, I’ve been told that this McGettigan’s is the one which got the ball rolling on what could be easily described as an empire of bars, many of which are situated in Dubai. Now we haven’t been able to corroborate that so maybe somebody who knows any better could let us know in the comments.

A one small roomed shop resplendent with dark wood and traditional seating, this pub is, at its essence, a standard cosy local Dublin boozer. It was actually one of the first pubs we posted on instagram when we set up DublinByPub feel free to seek that out and check out an era when the standard of our photos and captions mightn’t have been as carefully considered as they are now.

The pub would seem to have upped its push toward a tourist market of late with plenty of signage about the place advertising their food and drink offerings but that’s not to say it’s still catering to the locals too. The pint purveyed is a grand sup too for which you will expect to part with €4.80 for the pleasure of.

It’s also a more traditional pub given its opening times. Recently I found myself thirsty early-on in the Benburb St. district and McGettigan’s was my only saving grace. It’s nearby neighbours Frank Ryan’s and The Dice Bar leave their staff a decent lie-in, not opening till around 3 or 4.

So you can take your bespoke fancily furnished bars dotted throughout the UAE and beyond. When it comes to us there’s only the one McGettigan’s on the map. And it’s here in Dublin along the Luas line in the united emirates of Smithfield.

It was a few weeks back that I’d let go of that last vague mumbling thought that I might catch the last bus home and left it up to the gods to decide whether I’d make it into work the next day or not. I was seven or so pints into an ill-advised school night session and I’d just returned back to our table from the bar, empty handed. The lads were none too impressed.

Explaining that the barman had taken ownership of the delivery of the pints to the table I inadvertently provided the topic for our first discussion within the confines of Sheehan’s of Chatham Street – whether the utterance of the words ‘I’ll drop them down to ya’ from the person behind the bar is something that you like or dislike hearing.

So the lads, Pintman №2 and №5, are in plenty of argumentative form on this particular evening and it doesn’t take them long to chime in with their own opinions on the subject. Unsurprisingly enough both of their standings are directly opposed to my own. Unbalanced and prone to spillage as I am, I’m entirely for the motion at hand – help is always appreciated. So long as it comes in good time!

The lads though aren’t of the same opinion. A round to them, as it turns out, is sacred. A time honoured ritual that drinkers have participated in since the beginning of time. This pact is revered by the lads to such a degree that their guardianship of the pints involved in their own round is something they speak of as if it were on par with the weight of responsibility Tolkien foisted upon Frodo to get the one ring back to Mordor. And woe betide any bar staff who should seek to interfere with this.

But my opinion isn’t to be changed on this occasion and as I reveal the pub’s staggering €5.70 price tag on a pint of Guinness, I tell the lads that for that price, I’m not only expecting them to be delivered to the table but to also be done so by someone in the nip, doing a little dance. Thankfully no debate is warranted from this statement – there is unanimity around the table on the motion of €5.70 being an exorbitant price for a pint. It’s even suggested that it may be the reason as to why there isn’t anyone other than us three fuckin eejits in such a nice and centrally located pub of a midweek summer’s evening.

It’s all a bit of a shame really because Sheehan’s is a pub I could easily come to like, maybe even love – with just a few minor tweaks. Obviously, the price of the jar will need to come down to a figure in line with the wage of the common person – that’s a given. Then we’ll need to sort out the lingering bang of grub that seems to perpetually hang about the air in the place.

But with those said, we should also say that there’s plenty we wouldn’t change about the pub. From our research, we note that it’s in family ownership – and has apparently been so since the thirties! That’s always a great trait for a pub to have. It also needs to be considered that the pub is a fine looking shop altogether. Small to medium in size – its mild wooden tones set out the pub’s mellow palette, exposed brick and dividers tie in with this to bring the whole space together. And it comes together nicely. The seats are comfy, the lighting is perfect and the layout is spot on. If we were somehow gifted the pub in the morning we wouldn’t change so much as a splinter sticking out of a floorboard.

We’re sorry to have to repeat ourselves here by speaking of shame once again but it is a shame that this pub isn’t one of the greats. A crying shame! Even when you consider the legendary institutions within the vicinity, this, we believe, is a pub that has the making of something fantastic. It’s a premises that could be easily be standing on the shoulders of the nearby giants of the Dublin pub landscape, but unfortunately – as of now – it’s not even fit to lick their boots.

Jaysus lads, let me tell you now that Dublin By Pub isn’t always an easy affair. It’s a Wednesday afternoon and I’m back in work after the weekend. The voice isn’t back yet, the head is still twingeing and I’m still having flashbacks of all the Buckfast sodden debauchery we’ve been up to at the weekend while we were out of the capital for a bit. I don’t even, in the slightest, want to be thinking about alcohol, nevermind writing about it. But duty calls and here we are. So you might forgive any decline in quality for this time around. Cheers.

The Lower Deck is a pub that’s evaded me for years and years. Sneakily hidden around the corner from The La Touché Bridge which facilitates those wishing to traverse the canal from Portobello to Rathmines (or vice versa), it’s a pub which it turns out I’ve had plenty of time to find. The online authority on Dublin history – comeheretome, reckon a pub is on the site since the 1830s. A good snoop around online has brought up a couple of images of the pub where it has been named both McDermott’s Harbour Bar and Michael Ryan’s. Interestingly enough, the concrete space out the front of the pub, often frequented by skateboarders nowadays, isn’t there in the picture of the pub as Michael Ryan’s – instead it’s filled with water seemingly having been a part of the canal itself at one stage. And by the time that the pub is named McDermott’s it’s after been filled in and used as a carpark.

Edit: The body of water was known as The Portobello Basin or The Richmond Basin. Another view here and here

So in its current guise, the pub is known as The Lower Deck which does fit in with the pub’s proximity to the canal but is also a good euphemism for the part of the body where all the action happens. It’s a reasonable-sized boozer and houses a music venue in its basement called The Bello Bar. We arrive of a recent Saturday afternoon when there was a touch of summer in the air and made straight to the bar.

The pub is a decked out (yes, decked) in a traditional enough style with upholstered couches, high and low stools around the place. The bar sits as a rectangle in the centre of the room with the space around it divided up. Raised sections sit upon the left as you walk in and as you make your way to the further side of the bar there’s plenty of low seating on offer too. It’s a pub you could get cosy in easily enough – and one with an immaculate jaxx by the standard we’re used to.

The pint was a good one too, no complaints were heard around the table and not even on the price which fell below the fiver mark. Nothing short of a miracle around this particular part of town.

My favourite part of our visit to the pub though was to take in this aul lad who was perched with a pint and a tablet (the electronic kind, nothing small and blue to see here) on a table upon the periphery of one of the raised sections toward the back of the pub. He was the sort of man that reminded me of my own father insofar that he had the look of one of those aul fellas that treated advances in personal computing with nothing but persistent reluctance. That is until one day they were made aware of the advantages these technological feats had bestowed upon the experience of the watching of and gambling on horse racing. This man, however, seemed to have taken things a step further than my own da and had set up in the pub using his silver surfing credentials to dispense all necessary information lacking from an immediate proximate bookmaker. I think he was even taking bets. Fair play to him.

You just can’t beat a good quote, can ya?

No, I haven’t gone corporate and sold out to an insurance company (we sell out for booze and cash only, fyi). When I say quote here, I’m not referring to that annual screwjob that motorists find themselves coughing up for, I’m speaking, instead, about the particular branch of language and literature that we all come back to for assurance and guidance at some point in our lives.

Whether you’re a low-level dealer who wants to inform Old Bill that you exclusively accept judgement from a higher power or you’re a prospective Trinity Graduate seeking concise use of the Latin tongue for your philosophy assignment, or anywhere between – we’re all happy to be defined by quotes that connect with us, quotes that move us. In modernity where social standing is often predicated by online presence, quotations fit perfectly into a space where succinctness is key. Spend a day on Twitter and observe what goes viral and what doesn’t and you’ll know all about people’s fondness for short expressive statements. But, inversely, you’ll also see how all quotations are not born equally – and it’s with that in mind that I’d like you to consider the following two quotes:

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.”

“I fuckin love Chaplins, grand little boozer.”

They probably don’t appear to be, but these two quotes share a connection. It may be tentative and completely contrived for the sole purpose of this article but hey, a tentative contrived connection is still a connection. The first quote, as I’m sure some will have recognised, is one from Charlie Chaplin. Not someone I’ve been overly familiar with down through the years, I can happily say that having spent a precious hour of my employer’s time on Chaz’s Wikipedia page that I do like the cut of the man. He’s most certainly the type of lad whom you’d consider a worthy of having a pub named in his honour – and yes, this is where Chaplin’s gets its name from, but we’ll come back to that in a couple of paragraphs’ time.

The second quotation is one from someone who hasn’t yet quite reached the dizzying heights of fame that The Tramp did back in the early 1900s – Pintman №3. But I thought it appropriate to include because isn’t it an honest appraisal after all. Pintman №3 knows the score, he worked in close proximity to Chaplin’s so you know his assessment of the place isn’t a spurious one. Bolstering my surety in his assessment of the place is his disclosure in a text message, which follows the aforementioned quotation, that he’s sat in a pub close to his office putting some finishing touches on a bit of work he has to hand in that afternoon. If only my job was like that.

My job isn’t like that. But I do get plenty of time to write these posts on the sly so I suppose I better get back to Chaplin’s. As alluded to above – the pub is named after the most world’s most famous Chaplin – Charlie. The reason for this is explained in a claim made on the pub’s website stating that himself once visited the premises while on holiday to Ireland, they opt not to disclose any further inforation regarding this visit thereafer. I’ve had a poke around and haven’t been able to substantiate the claim to such a degree of accuracy to put Charlie in the same address on Hawkins’ St, but it is noted that he performed as part of a Clog Dancing troupe named The Eight Lancashire Lads in The Theatre Royal Hippodrome, which sat on Hawkins’ Street itself. So he has at least that association with the street at the very least.

Almost ecclesiastical in its appearance, Chaplin’s is characterised, in my mind at least, by the set of three or four wooden stands which sit in the pub’s main expanse. These carved, overhang-less structures look like they’d be more geared toward affording a foundation to a large candle in the pro-cathedral instead of housing a rake of pints, but they get the job done well enough. Along with these, the pub offers ample ledge space for further pint perching options and there are a few dividers along the span of these also.
I’d tend to describe the pub’s size as being somewhere between the small and the medium. It’s a dark enough spot but retains just about enough illumination to escape it being labelled as ‘too dark’. A bit of stained glass around the room adds a certain charm and there’s plenty of decoration on the wall, some of which we decided was probably a set of postcards depicting the various works on show in The National Gallery.

Seating is kept fairly uniform- the front of the pub offers high seating on exclusive means, with all the lower seating kept the back of the room which closes in, conforming to the building’s curve. The bar itself is relatively small to other’s around the city but is a good size relative to the room. The drink options lean more toward the old reliables but there tends to be a few choices for those feeling more adventurous. The Guinness is not to a standard that it’s ever set my world alight but I’ve heard it lauded by a few people over the years. On balance, I find it a decent enough pint – certainly nothing to ever consider avoiding. As far as the finances go – it was selling for €5.20 a fill upon the last time that we visited, which would have been around December 2018.

So seeing as we’ve put such an emphasis on quotation here, it’s probably fitting that we re-emphasise Pintman №3’s previous sentiment and agree that Chaplin’s is indeed a – “grand little boozer” and one we’ve always found to be simple in its approach and as somebody once said: Simplicity of approach is always best.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ambassador O’Hanrahan, Mr Prime Minister, Esteemed members of the Nobel Committee, I thank you all for coming to my lecture today and I would like to begin by asking you a question – Have you ever encountered the condition Paris Syndrome? For those of you who haven’t, please allow me to explain.

Predominately affecting Japanese tourists, Paris Syndrome is a condition resultant of a person’s realisation that the capital city of France is not the idealised ‘city of love’ that they had conjured up in their minds from all the portrayals of it they had seen through the years. This particular category of culture-shock can apparently reach a level of such severity that it elicits physiological symptoms in those who suffer from it. These have been known to include dizziness, sweating, vomiting and hallucinations.

The reason I mention the above-described syndrome is due to the fact that it draws many parallels with that syndrome which we are most concerned with in this lecture today – The Dublin Syndrome. While not confined to the defined region of the Irish Capital, the affliction is named after the native origin of Patient Zero who presented in a Dublin clinic upon his return home from a short break in a European capital city.

Described as an acute disassociation from one’s own affinity with their original place of origin upon repatriation from a short and enjoyable spell spent abroad, Dublin Syndrome can be brought about by many underlying factors. One prevailing aspect of each patient who presented was their inclination to over-romanticise their place of origin. This romanticisation was noted as being compounded by many factors including the consumption of positively-biased social media pertaining to their place of origin and indulgence in local customs, patient zero being noted as a regular participant in the Irish phenomenon known as ‘the craic’.

Dublin Syndrome has been identified as occurring sometime between when a person returns from a short holiday and close to when the sufferer begins to throw their own internal romanticisation of their hometown into doubt. In each case, this doubt was the result of the patient having juxtaposed aspects of their hometown against those which are more favourable in the place they have recently visited. These include, but are not limited to, weather conditions, alcohol pricing, bar and club opening hours, cuisine, etc, etc.

Ultimately this leaves the patient questioning their previously perceived status quo, commonly the patient will, unfruitfully, seek to re-evaluate their connection to their hometown. Physiological effects similar to Paris Syndrome such as dizziness, sweating, vomiting and hallucinations have been recorded but leading researchers have not been able to isolate these from symptoms commonly found in patients suffering from The Fear, a separate condition in itself – which many sufferers of Dublin Syndrome also simultaneously presented with.

Following innumerable vaccine trials and inestimable hours of research, leading researchers have discovered an effective treatment for sufferers of Dublin Syndrome. The treatment, which also is said to be effective in fighting The Fear, was discovered in a manner befitting the discovery of penicillin, given the serendipity involved.

It was one particular evening when upon my way home in Dublin, that I happened upon Patient Zero as he passed from Pearse Street to Westland Row. Noticing that he was beleaguered with symptoms at the time I took the opportunity to candidly observe the patient in the wild lieu of approaching him. As he reached the top of the street, the patient stopped at Kennedy’s public house and after a moment of contemplation, he entered. Being in the dark wooden environs of the pub and having stepped upon the tiled flooring the patient appeared to experience an improvement in their symptoms as they ordered a drink.

Awaiting this drink, the patient was noted to have observed portraits of writers which hung about the walls of the pub. In later interviews, he would come to explain the calming effect brought about in realising that ‘Beckett, Behan and Joyce would’ve drank here themselves’. The patient even goes as far as to say that it is at this early stage when he first begins to experience the return of, what he described as, “pangs” of older romanticised “notions”.

The patient is then noted to have observed nearby Joycean relic – Sweny’s pharmacy through one of the many large windows in the pub as he set about ingesting the first portion of the alcoholic beverage he had previously purchased. The analgesic effect of this is observed as having occurred faster than expected with the patient appearing more comfortable than at any time since having presented. This comfort is perceived to subside somewhat as the patient reads the figure, which is later clarified as €5.50, on a receipt which had been issued to him with the beverage. This is then countenanced when the subject medicates himself further with the beverage he had bought.

I continue to observe the patient as he self-medicates, increasing his dosage as he goes. As he begins to risk overmedication, I note that he has begun to interact with control subjects. It is at this point that the subject begins to drink whiskey and puts themselves at risk of overmedication. As he begins to sing a folk song about a triangle I decide to interject and return the patient back to the test facility for evaluation. His reaction to this is made in a positive tone as he enquires whether we are going to “a session”.

In the weeks following the trial, the patient is observed on a semi-regular basis and is deemed to have made a near-full recovery. He continues to bemoan the grievances such as the price of the pint, closing hours, and local climate on a smaller scale. But researchers cannot rule out the possibility that such behaviour did not predate the patient’s contraction of The Dublin Syndrome.

The year is 2053 and the end is nigh! Global warming, nuclear warfare, global pandemic, zombie apocalypse – picture it however you see fit. I was thinking about how certain subcultures would get on in some sort of apocalyptic scenario there the other day and ultimately I came to realise that the first set of the general population to start to see rapid attrition, aside from the infirm, will ultimately have to be the hipsters.

My hypothesis is based on two main ideas – firstly the veganism. Now I’m not for a moment going to knock vegans – fair play to them! Especially those who do it properly. But the type of fad veganism that hipsters tend to have a proclivity toward can’t be good for the system – taking all of that iron out of the equation just to look cool can only mean one thing– anaemia. And the anaemic are certainly at a loss when our plague-stricken sun scorched, sea-swelled, radioactive night of the living dead doomsday scenario plays out.

Secondly, and this is something a chiropractor or a spinal surgeon might easily school us on, but it seems to me that the variety of mismatched, rigid and antiquated seating one tends to happen upon in The Bernard Shaw and its contemporaries just cannot be the type that leaves your spine in a better shape than it would have been prior to use. I’m near-on certain that we’ll have a good cohort of grey-haired hunchback hipsters knocking about the place telling us how they collected their pensions before it was cool come 2053. And lord knows that they’ll be ripe for the pickin’ when all of the looters and the undead come rummaging around the gaff at end of days.

So, The Bernard Shaw. Name after Portobello’s most famous Nobel Laureate (who, himself, shortened his name by dropping the George at the start of it), this pub is one held in the same regard by the hipster class as St Paul’s Cathedral would be by subscribers to Catholicism. It’s a boozer which tends to be revered by cooler kids than I for its exterior rather than its interior. We’re told that the beer garden is extensive and that there’s a double decker bus somehow involved in the whole setup. Unfortunately all of this is a bit lost on me – my take on al fresco drinking being that it is better done on grass and through the thriftier means of cans. And as for drinking on a bus, personally I wouldn’t want to risk a Vietnam flashback of some of the things I’ve seen on the 27 down throughout the years.

As with all pubs, our concern lies mainly with the interior.

More Cockney flower girl than toast of London, the pub is comprised of three main sections – the front bar, triangular in its layout, screams twenty minute lunch rather than six pint session – although there is something to be said for its purpose as a prime people-watching real estate. Closing in acutely, this section leads toward a small set of steps which bring you to the lower area of the pub – this in turn houses a larger seating area complete with DJ box and the third section of the pub – a tiled corridor, in essence, sits at the back of the building. The aesthetic of the place is standard hipster chic – rough and ready – characterised by mismatched minimalist furniture and perpetually changing artwork.

Pint-wise, the main complaint is to be made in relation to the price. €5.70 is the sum charged for a Guinness – which, in fairness, was a bit of a majestic drop. Along with the stout – and as you’d expect from such a place – there’s a wide range of craft on offer too.

It was always unlikely that we were ever going to come to extol the virtues of this place. At best for us, it’s a decent lesson in subjectivity – people love it! And we’re fine with that. But with that said, our likelihood of return is probably most appropriately summed up with Shavian parlance – “not bloody likely”.

Recently I found myself struck by a thought as I wandered in amongst the vibrancy and boisterousness of the beloved melting pot of ethnicity and street traders that is Moore Street. In the lead up to this I was pondering a subject far from the reality that surrounded me in the market of Moore St. – English Peerage. The Peerage of England, for the purpose of this article, is something we’d describe as an umbrella term for all of the silly bollock-talk regarding dukes, barons, viscounts and other such made up titles that happen to get bandied about by our nearest neighbours to the east. And the reason as to why I’d been thinking this deeply about such a thing in public was the same reason as always – the pub!

The Duke on Duke Street, it seems was named after some aul codger named Charles FitzRoy who in addition to being the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was also the Second Duke of Grafton. His father – Henry, First Duke of Grafton was married to a Countess and was also an illegitimate child of King Charles II and Duchess Barbara Villiers.

It was in the middle of trying to make sense of all this guillotine-worthy convoluted nonsense, I found my pattern of thought interrupted by a hardy street trader who was noisily speaking to a friend whom she hadn’t seen in a while. Filling her friend in with all of the latest goss, she spoke seamlessly as she navigated her words through the complicated array of extended family and friends.

“Well, ye know Patrick, from Domnick Street dont’che? Ah, ye do – Wacker they use’ ta call ‘im, he looked after the boxing up in Sherrifer. Well, he’s only after going and getting some youngone from Cabra up the pole. And ye won’t believe who she’s related to!? Only Biddy Reilly from Mountjoy – you know yer one Biddy – Bridget! Ah, ye do!”

It struck me there and then that these street traders, with their inherent skills for navigating complex family lineages, would be perfect candidates for teaching people all about that English peerage craic. So let’s just remember that if all these greedy developers do manage to knock Moore Street and make them redundant. They’ll have a job over in Windsor, no bother to them.

So anyway, The Duke. It seems if you stand on Grafton Street blindfolded and throw a coin over your shoulder that you’ll likely hit a pub with ties to numerable writers of International regard. I’m even beginning to feel like I’m repeating myself in some of these write-ups going on about various pubs’ ties to writers, but The Duke is yet another public house which lays claim to having sheltered the likes of George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh, Flann O Brien and is another renowned Dublin Literary Pub. So renowned in fact that it is the starting point for the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl. Which we really must get around to doing one day!

The interior is cosy, and remarkably so given the expanse of the pub. Wooden floors and carpet make up the flooring. Traditional seating abounds and there are even open fires! The lighting tends to be spot on and the colours are gentle too – all in all, it’s a boozer that ticks all the right boxes for us, aesthetically speaking.

The pint tends to be decent, nothing to be dreamt about but nothing to inspire any nightmares either. Alike most neighbouring watering holes, you’ll want a Duke’s wage to be drinking comfortably in here. We last paid €5.40 for a jar which is just too much if you ask me.

But price concerns aside, you can’t mistake the importance of a boozer like this which has stood since 1822 and houses an interior mostly unchanged since the 1890s. How lucky we are to live in a city containing such historical premises while having none of the nonsense for which they’re named after.