Recently we were philosophising about what it is that brings that certain sense of je ne sais quoi to pints when they’re taken in enjoyable numbers of a Sunday. Having given due regard to theories of Old Ireland and The Sabbath, we came to look on the whole situation more generally and found some consensus that the sweetness derived from a Sunday session is most certainly directly proportional to its inherent risk. Riskiness, when you consider its intrinsic incalculability, is something that borders on the magical. And you don’t need to be an adrenaline junkie out on a tightrope or a high roller staking five grand a hand to get the endorphin rush that risk can deliver. All you need to do is put your next days’ wage or even your entire job on the line and get down to the boozer for a skinful on a Sunday. Fair warning though, I tossed these particular dice a few weeks ago and I lost.

Thankfully this loss brought about no need to hightail it back to hatch number two or to pawn the family silver, the nature of my punishment this time around was to be more sensory than anything. With a humdinger of a hangover the next morning, I rushed queasily down the road to make the last Monday DART that would deliver me to work on time. Sufficiently sardined onto same, I made the horrifying discovery that I was headphoneless. And of course, it wasn’t even a tiny moment after I’d made that realisation when two particular gentlemen, whom I could only describe as the type who would have been dealing with NAMA during the recession, boarded the train. Unfortunately, these boys had no inclination to keep as quiet as the rest of the passengers and set about letting the whole carriage hear their conversation which was convened entirely with the use of business buzz-word bollock-talk. You know the sort of stuff – acronym laden shite that you’d hear the minister for finance yammer on with when he’s speaking about citizens like financial commodities. Anyhow, it was these two gobshites and their overuse of the phrase Silicon Docks in referring to the Grand Canal area that had me thinking of The Ferryman.

Almost certainly named in accordance with the dockland profession, The Ferryman adds to that reverence which (rightly) is afforded to historical working-class figures. Dockers and their ilk tend to be particularly esteemed compared to their inland contemporaries when it comes to works produced from all pillars of culture such as art, literature, music and, em, pub names. And given that the docks are now tech-centric you’d have to wonder if the dockers that future generations will refer to will be silicon dockers. I don’t suppose that it’s entirely unlikely that gravel-voiced troubadours will sing merrily in slip-jig timing about the days of user acceptance testing to patrons gathered around the lounge of The Senior Data Analyst Inn in a century or two. Thank the big fella upstairs that you and I won’t live long enough for that one.

On the medium to large side of things, The Ferryman is a pub whose look is very much timber focused – wooden flooring, tables, and facades abound while surfaces which are not covered with timber are painted in tones resembling such. Ephemera is mixed and follows no defining pattern, but one could pick out plenty of maritime stuff in there to tie in with the name if they chose to. Wrapping around in the sort of shape that almost resembles an L, the bar is relatively open and boasts plenty of seating options. There’s a sizable downstairs bar in the pub too and overall you couldn’t fault the appearance of it. There’s plenty of window space around the street-facing walls of the building too which make for fine people-watching opportunities while you sip away on a pint. And speaking of the pint, it won’t bring about any cause for concern in the tastebud department but will rock the wallet for five and a half euro which is certainly on the higher side of things.

Pintman Nº7 and I were in last over the summer and had a couple of mid-afternoon scoops before heading further afield. The place was ticking over with a customer base mostly comprised of tourists from nearby hotels as well as one or two more local sounding lads who were appropriately garbed in lifejackets. We considered making a bad joke about them falling into their pints but decided against the risk of offending hardier souls than ourselves.

Aside from a pricey pint, we couldn’t criticize The Ferryman too much. It’s a pub that must be commended for having weathered the storm of the recession and managed to keep the doors open when so many others were closing. And given the concentration of industry back into the docklands these days, it seems that The Ferryman should be more than able to stand dockers (silicon or otherwise) in good stead for all their future quayside drinking needs.

It’s early afternoon on a bitter February morning and I’m huddled around the graveside of Fenian Leader – Jeremiah O Donovan Rossa with another dozen cold persons on a guided tour of Glasnevin Cemetery. An actor in full Irish Volunteer regalia is in the throes of his re-enacting of Padraig Pearse’s famous graveside oration. The wind is whipping up in short frenzied bursts which are shaking the surrounding trees, strong trees – nourished on the since-decayed flesh of patriot dead. Haphazardly, this wind is spraying a pin-prick icy drizzle laterally toward my face, aiding it in its apparent attempt to render all exposed flesh numb.

I’m entirely sure that February is a fine month for a great number of things, but even more certain am I that Saint Brigid herself would agree that this is no optimal month for traipsing about on consecrated grounds for prolonged periods in the frost. After an hour or so the otherwise enjoyable tour ends and before I can speak the reddened faces of my companions render moot the question I have in my head. We are all in telepathic agreement that the time has come to seek shelter from the cold – and our chosen location for such is another thing that Brigid would’ve probably been agreeable to, her being the patron saint of beer, and all. We are bound for Kavanagh’s, The Gravediggers.

At this particular point in time our having never been to the pub is a shame we carry in secret. We fancy ourselves as knowing a thing or two about the most well-regarded pubs in Dublin and we’re repeatedly deflecting suggestions and changing subjects in order to try and conceal the awful truth. And with this comes the expectation, the hype. It’s not possible for this pub, good and all as we’re sure it will be, to live up to the standard our respective unconsciousness set for their waking counterparts. We find our way out of the cemetery and push back the heavy iron gate and proceed toward the battered wooden door. The world stops. It’s glorious.

Before long, the eight or so of us are burrowed intimately into the last remaining enclave which shier groups, similar in size, might have regarded as too small. Scatters of pints begin to arrive from the bar and arouse, in the faces of their recipients, the sort of joy you might expect to see on that of an exhausted mother postnatally cradling her new-born moments after birth.

With that, the heat has returned to our faces and the pints and conversation flow in synonymy. Outside, a mutinous streak of sunlight gasps from the grey clouds which could not conceal it, it passes through the windows at the front of the pub and works as best as it can to illuminate the pub before ultimately becoming choked out by the shade therein. And with the light and shade in battle and the joviality and expressiveness around the place you could easily convince yourself that you were inside the frame of a Vermeer or a Caravaggio, if you wanted to. .

This pub is the archetypal Dublin pub – but not just in appearance. A family run boozer with strong community ties, it’s the very essence of what a Dublin pub should be and the yardstick against which all others should be measured. This is the original model of what so many imposters unfruitfully seek to recreate for profit or for glory. To walk into the sepia-toned confines of this pub is to step squarely into the past – each feature is as characterful as the next: be it the smoke-stained ceiling, the bark chipped table or the saloon doors. There is no coincidence in the fact that the pub has been used in countless TV and movie productions to elicit a sense of days gone by.

And it’s entirely apt that the pub, which opened in 1833, is used for historical programming, as it’s dripping in lore and history. I’ll assume that everyone is already au fait with one about the afters of Luke Kelly’s funeral, and forego that for now. Even more interesting, as Luke too I’m sure would agree, is the fact that the pub and the set of customers whom gave it its name are responsible for some of the lingo that’s still commonplace in the modern lexicon. During the war, when glass was in short supply, they say that the grave diggers, weary from their work in the adjoining cemetery, would adjourn for a drink and offer up earthenware jam-jars for the purpose of being used as receptacles for their well-earned beer. From there the phrase “are ye goin’ for a jar” was born.

The pub, they say, is also responsible for the main entrance to Glasnevin Cemetery having to be relocated away from Prospect Avenue to its current one on The Finglas road. It seems that the delays resulting from mourners who couldn’t resist a liquid detour before the coffin was lowered into the soil were so bad that the only way to combat it was to build an entire new entrance.

I suppose I should get on to the pint. This is as good as it gets folks, each and every one is a showstopper and I make no hesitation in saying that this pint is the best in Dublin. This fact then, by proxy makes the pint of Guinness in The Gravediggers the best in the country, which in turn then makes it the best pint in the world. And what’s more is that it’s always charged at a fair price too, the lads could probably charge six quid a pop if they wanted to, but they won’t, the last time we managed to get up that way it was going for €4.80 a measure. A bargain!

So anyone who’s followed our ramblings for the last few years will know that we’ve been a while trying to convey our love for this pub through text. A while being measured in years in this case. I think we’ll never manage to write something that we’re 100% happy with so we’re going to convince ourselves that this one is good enough because if we don’t we’d only end up writing a full book on the pub, which I suppose we couldn’t rule out into the future either.

Ever since Molly wheeled her barrow up the road from those pelt-peddling pricks down at the mouth of Grafton Street and plonked herself where it’s supposed that the Vikings once erected the thingmote, their version of Dundrum Shopping Centre, you could argue that the most westward point of Suffolk street has been subject to something of a rejuvenation.

It’s here outside St Andrew’s church that you might listen to the portrayal of fiction as fact when steady throngs of tourists are corralled around the likeness of the city’s most famous mythical brasser only to have her described as if she were as real as Tone or Collins. And as you watch these tourists, one by one, mount Molly’s plinth and degrade the cause of feminism one brush of her brass bust at a time you might think to yourself that it’s not ideal but that it could be worse – it’s only a statue after all and where’s the harm in a few Yanks thinking of her as once actually alive… alive-o. It’s also probably apt enough that O Neill’s is the public house which sits upon this site because it, to me, falls into this same category as the scene aforementioned – it’s not ideal, but it could be worse.

Relative to our, ahem, studies… this bar is quite a notable one insofar that it’s the first where we can conclusively state a connection to James Joyce, a good pub does not make. And yes, this is another pub with strong links to JJ himself, it being featured in Counterparts – one of the short stories contained in Dubliners. In this story we meet Farrington, a legal secretary whose vitriol toward his superiors is severe enough that it manages to manifest itself as a thirst. And such is the insistence of this thirst on the day that Counterparts is set, that Farrington heads off on his afternoon break to quench it:

He was now safe in the dark snug of O’Neill’s shop, and filling up the little window that looked into the bar with his inflamed face, the colour of dark wine or dark meat, he called out: “Here, Pat, give us a g.p., like a good fellow.” The curate brought him a glass of plain porter.

Thankfully the standard of the jar seems that it was up to a higher level back at that time for if Jim happened to be writing about my maiden visit to the pub he’d be flinging his lingual prowess at describing how the curate poured my drink into a near empty and used vessel in one single pour and offered to sell it to me at full price. A decade on that still gives me the shivers.

I don’t know whether its just the size of the pub of the proliferation of taps, but the drink in here tends to be an issue more so than it should be. Personally, and anecdotally (off and online) we hear of bad pints galore in here (check out the Guinness we came across on twitter recently in the picture.) and with the price tag of €5.50 a go, the standard should be far higher.

Aesthetically the pub has its ups and its downs. Traditionally decorated, the front bar is resplendent with wood alike all other show piece pubs of the Victorian age around the city. It would be my pick of the many sections on offer especially seen as it’s good and out of sight of the dreaded carvery bar – a feature which Pintman №2, №3 and I have spent plenty of time arguing about. I should also, at this point, mention that the two lads aren’t quite as anti-O Neill’s as myself, their assessment of the place being an adequate one for taking in a match or two. But I think I might have them on the ropes about it these days.

Returning to the point made earlier on, and while not my pick of the bunch, O Neill’s is a pub that isn’t quite as bad as it could be. But with the touristification of Dublin ongoing it’s most certainly following the cash in the wrong direction. And what a shame it is to find that a pub with such fine potential to sit up top with the big leaguers would seem to be having it’s genuine cultural bonafides paddy whacked into a twee tourist only experience. Something which I suppose the quare one outside knows all too well.

If you were to ease yourself into a chair in the busy waiting room of an oncology clinic and gorge yourself upon the alcohol hand sanitizer that presumably hangs from the wall there, you’d be spending the same amount of money, but having ten times the craic as you would be if you were drinking in this defacto famine-era soup kitchen!

Have some respect for yourself and walk 20 seconds up the road to The Flowing Tide instead.

Seriously, it’s a kip. Don’t bother. I’ve made a balls of the image above there and thown the colours out of whack. I’m not arsed fixing it because the place is a kip!

In the early hours of a Friday morning somewhere on Parnell Street in the middle of the first decade of the new millennium, you might have found me in the time honoured sweaty skirmish that I’m sure you’ll still find long haired leather clad rockers in to this day.

With pint glass firmly clasped like all should be when mosh-pit adjacent, I’d be quaffing some unholy concoction sold to me as a loss-leader – aniseedy and tinted in shining glowstick green – you’d still be able to smell it in the morning afterward.

Having arrived early, as to avoid the bouncers, I’d generally be garbed in building site-safe attire, content that at least my steel-toe boots were half on par with the dress code. Eventually then the gang would spill in and the night would while away into that green aniseed haze and you would find yourself in that menagerie of boots, chains, leather, denim and all the sweat and beer spilt therein.

And as the drinking-up hour would close in you might be going hoarse from defiantly shouting the repeated lines of the last song spun – it usually being Rage Against The Machine. “F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me”… you’d howl it as you swayed arm in arm with any number of sweaty metallers.. “F**k you I won’t do what you tell me.” Then the bouncers would move in to clear house – and you’d do what they told you.

There are but a handful of widely accepted institutions in Dublin City and the place mentioned above – Fibber Magee’s is certainly one. Dublin’s premier Metal bar, it was a rite of passage for young trainee rockers like myself who found that their fondness for music could no longer be confined to unlicensed premises way back when.

Though ultimately I’d find the tunes in Fibbers a bit on the heavier side and transfer up to Eamon Doran’s, and given that it’s not somewhere I’ve ever frequented in the true sense of the word, I’ve always retained a fondness for Fibbers and the foundation it provided to me to learn the trade of drinking pints.

Being the likely best example of a Dive bar on offer in Dublin’s portfolio of pubs, Fibbers is cut into a sizeable number of defined sections – a medium sized bar runs along the left side of the room as you enter, toward the right side you’ll find an alcove containing two or three bays of semi-circular couches which snugly house a circular table apiece. Moving toward the back of the room you’ll come upon a bank of pool tables and as you move right from them you’ll end up in the venue section complete with stage and dancefloor. Beyond all that there’s a vast smoking area out back which we wouldn’t normally bother commenting on only for the fact that it is contained on a common courtyard with two vastly different style of bars/restaurants – Murray’s and The Living Room. This lends to a sort of Gangs of New York – Five Points vibe, the likes of which is found nowhere else in the city.

Pint-wise, we can’t really comment in any great certainty as we generally find ourselves here when our tastebuds have been rendered less sensitive than they would’ve been before a hearty sceilp of pints. But I cannot say that our last visit is remembered as being one where the pint was below an acceptable level. I’m told the pint is at the fiver mark here but we’ll stand open to correction there.

We last visited of a Halloween night which ended somewhat acrimoniously. With a sizeable crew of costumed and costumeless in tow we’d awarded the night’s best dressed award to Pintman №7 who had ignored all advice of it being more of a 2009 thing and decided to dress as Heath Ledger’s incarnation of The Joker from The Dark Night… as a nurse… in a dress… I think he might have even shaved his legs for the occasion.

Pintman №7, who despite being a long time subscriber and attendee to the cause, has heretofore gone uncredited in the annals of DublinByPub. A man caught in a never ending cycle of giving up and getting back into drinking strong IPAs, he would, as it turns out, have made a fine character actor.

For, you see, it was on this fine October night that Pintman №7 had truly engaged his inner Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson and Cesar Romero all in one. And the timing of this couldn’t have been more perfect. We’d been unfortunate enough to find ourselves having made the acquaintance of some nasty, uncostumed upstart in the course of playing pool. And it was just as this little bollox was smack bang in the middle of his twenty-somethingth ill-advised insult of the evening when he felt five of Pintman №7’s knuckles speedily settle into his cheekbone. It was so perfect a hit some of us even swore we saw one of those 60’s Batman pop-art graphics depicting the word POW right before our eyes. Needless to say, the boy went down.

Next of all we’d found ourselves witness to one of these wonderful Halloween scenes where Donald Trump and Wonderwoman beckoned bouncers as Obie Wan Kenobi attempted to barrel The Joker out of sight. The bouncers did arrive and when Pintman №7 freely gave himself up they informed him that he’d have to be thrown out. He went peacefully. He went so peacefully that the bouncers even cheerfully bade him good night and the best of luck for good measure too.

Unfortunately our hopes and prayers that footage of this melee would eventually surface on the national airwavews as part of Crimecall’s CCTV segment have year to bear fruit. We continue to live in hope.

So that’s about all we have on Fibbers for now. Let us conclude by saying that if you’re the type of person who’s looking to accompany a pint with the aural pleasures of the more advanced sub-genres of metal, or if you’re just a lad in a dress who wants to shoot some pool and watch the world burn, Fibbers might just be the place for you!

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.

Regardless of whether some politicians want to hear it or not, there can be little escaping the fact that drink is interwoven into our national fabric. Come temperance, cafe culture and minimum unit pricing – one and all – there are literally centuries worth of work that will be required to separate us from our association with lady liquor.

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.