Why We Love The Irish Pub, At Home And Abroad!
“God invented whiskey so the Irish wouldn’t rule the world.” – Jim Bishop
Let me set the scene. Everyone in Ireland goes to the pub to meet their friends, partners, work colleagues, or just strangers. Some pubs can seem like an interrogation room. The locals want to know who you are, where you came from, who your parents are before you have even ordered a drink. You can forget about being shy in a pub in Ireland as people will talk to you whether you want them to or not. That’s the Irish for you.
We all have our own reasons for wanting to go to the pub and enjoy a jar or two on a Friday. I recently learned from a barman in the Hourican’s bar on Leeson street – they serve the best pints of Guinness, arguably – that “going for a jar” was first brought about from John Kavanagh’s pub, most commonly known as the “Gravediggers ” in Glasnevin. Apparently, the gravediggers in the past were not allowed into the pub as they were covered in filth so they were served from a hatch. As they were not allowed pint glasses, they brought their own jam jars to drink from. Hence, “going for a jar.”
The Irish really are a friendly bunch. It has been known to be hard to resist the charms of an Irish man or woman. I have seen this many a time and am guilty of preferring an Irishman’s humor on many an occasion. Personally, I find Irish people incredibly funny.
Sometimes, while I was abroad, if I was in any way homesick, I would seek out an Irish bar so I could drink Guinness and listen to trad music. It is a very common practice for the Irish to move to the other side of the world and hang out with Irish people and drink in Irish pubs and eat Irish food. Why do we do this….
Irish people travel in packs and we all have found ourselves getting a little bit over excited when on holiday. For example, when I was in the local Irish bar in Corfu, I happened to find Gaelic football on and spotted a Kerry jersey. At home, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash but abroad…
A common conversation you will hear between two people from Ireland abroad.
“Hi, Where are you from?”
“Oh, right do you know Paddy Mc Kenna?”
“Emm… Paddy with the blonde hair or the black hair?”
“Ah, the blonde hair.”
“I know him well, he was in my year in school.”
Irish hospitality is one reason why Irish pubs are so popular not only in Ireland but worldwide. I worked in an Irish bar in Cardiff, Wales and a couple of Irish bars in Australia. Every week they were filled with Irish people. Why live abroad and drink in an Irish bar? Easy answer: the Irish are great craic.
In a survey in 2011, Irish pubs were the reason so many tourists visited Ireland. Irish pubs are not all about the drinking. The pub is a place to greet old friends and new, to support your local team with friends and fans. You form bonds and build life lasting memories.
I have worked in many Irish bars along my travels and all the locals have told me how they love walking through a door where a pint is just waiting for them. I used to be able to serve half a bar without saying a word sometimes. I loved the banter from the locals and the stories you hear.
The first Irish bar in Australia I worked in was Paddy Maguires, where I made friends for life. There was a huge group of us including a group of Irish people that either worked in the pub or drank there. What we all had in common was a sense of humor and love for Ireland. However, it wasn’t only Irish in the pub. All kinds of nationalities drank there and their reason was the atmosphere and the music.
Irish people have a tendency to make best friends with everyone, may it be the toilet attendant, random girl in the toilet, or a customer. We love talking fluff. We have also been known to appear too friendly; that can also get us in trouble.
All countries have their own wee quirks and a stamp that makes their country special. For the Irish, we are known for our hospitality, always being up for the craic, and willing to befriend any man that walks into a pub with warmth and friendliness. As an Irishwoman, it is hard to walk pass an Irish bar abroad.
Next time you are abroad or in Ireland, give it a go and see for yourself.
“No strangers here, just friends you haven’t met!” -Brendan Behan