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UCD AFC football away days

Off to see University College Dublin play Drogheda for another LOI away day trip.

Have seen the students a few times, nice little ground even if they have no supporters….

UCD AFC football away daysFounded in 1854 as the Catholic University of Ireland, later established as UCD, the University College Dublin was where all good Catholics were sent to for further education. The University has over 32,000 students and is easily Ireland largest university. Like a small town, its that big, situated on a 133-hectare (330-acre) campus out in Belfield, not that far from the city centre, south of the Liffey.

Perhaps the best known of all the UCD’s graduates is James Joyce, like myself a Bachelor of Arts waster, and unlike me, a world renowned writer, but I am working on it, ok. Other notable alumni (alumni’s, plural?) include three Presidents of Ireland and five Taoisigh (Prime ministers), Brian O’ Driscoll who is amongst over 70 Rugby Internationals, and, for us football junkies, ex Man United star, Kevin Moran. There are also five Nobel Laureates amongst University College Dublin’s alumni and current and former staff. Pretty impressive I must say.

Pub watch

Madigan’s Pub Abbey Street

Address: 4 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1, Dublin

 http://www.madigansabbeyst.com/

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UCD AFC football away daysAs I was over ten minutes early for the Dublin bus (I took number 11, The Clonskeagh entrance to Belfield, but you could take other options), I decided to sneak into Madigans just around the corner from O’ Connell street, on Lower Abbey Street, just across from the Luas stop. Always a safe option for a good pint of plain.  Quick pint, no problem, good stuff.

Established in 1991, Madigans is run by the Madigan Family. The pub appears lovely from the outside, a real old fashioned bar, and inside it has the hallmarks of a decent looking boozer, with efficient service, and good pints, all in a nice relaxed atmosphere.

Just off O’Connell street with all the hustle and bustle, this is a place you can have a quite pint, the kind of pub that you can have a good chat in, a nice mixed crowd, no music or TV blaring out.

Good pint, and suitably refreshed for my bus journey to UCD, onwards…….

UCD Club House Bar

Address: UCD Campus

http://www.ucd.ie/studentcentre/services/theclubhouse/

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UCD AFC football away daysA bit early for the game, so I went looking for a student bar. Every college has some sort of student boozer, so sure enough, after a brief search I came onto the UCD Club House Bar. was packed to the rafters inside, as it looked like some rugby types were having an end of season do, all booted and suited, and a lot of drink taken.  A very modern interior, with a decent bar, and more importantly they also served food. I had some sausages and chips, soaked in vinegar and red sauce. An unhealthy option but I was hungry!UCD AFC football away days

It has two floors, but with space tight I didn’t venture too far.

Apparently this is the only student bar on campus, so for over 30,000 students it figures that this bar is always crammed to the rafters!

The Porterhouse Central 

Address: 45-47 Nassau Street
Dublin 2

http://www.theporterhouse.ie/bars-dublin-central.php

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After the game, and back in town, I went to The Porterhouse Central,  in Nassau Street, not far off Trinity College, and at the bottom of Grafton Street.

The Porterhouse Brewing Company is a chain of bars that have a reputation for serving craft beers and holding a lot of good time music events. Apparently it has the longest bar in Dublin…

UCD AFC football away daysFounded in 1989 by Liam La Hart and Oliver Hughes, with the first one in Bray, they now have six bars in and around Dublin, and one in both London and New York

I normally don’t like chain pubs but after having visited the original Porterhouse in Bray, which made a good impression on me, sure why not……

If you are a craft beer junkie then this is surely the place to be, they have a huge selection of craft beers on the menu,…also have a lot of their own unique house brews as well, including their alternative Guinness beer called Oyster Stout, which I am kicking myself for not trying as it is meant to be pretty good (a good excuse to return!)

The place was teeming on a Saturday night, but still relatively easy to get a good seat at the bar (well if they have the longest bar….), and also not so loud to have a good conversation. Atmosphere was cheerful and lively. Ordered some strong craft beer, that I forgot the name of, but it was bloody good.  Service was prompt, despite the big crowd.

University College Dublin A.F.C.

UCD AFC football away days

Nickname: The Students, College

Arena/Stadium: UCD Bowl

Location: Belfield, Dublin 4

Capacity: 3,000

Manager: Collie O’Neill

Founded: 1895

Leagues: League of Ireland First Division

Club home page 

Email: diarmuid.mcnally@ucd.ie

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UCD AFC, or University College Dublin Association Football Club, play in the second tier of League of Ireland football, and are a semi pro team that mostly use players who also attend the university. Many players avail of the opportunity to earn a degree while playing top class, or relatively top class football. UCD’s claim to fame was running an Everton team close in the European Cup Winners Cup in the 1984/85 season, a team that had the calibre of Southall, Sheedy, Sharp, Reid and Gray in its line-up, going down just 1-0 in aggregate.

AUCD AFC football away dayslso more importantly it is said that Socrates, the legendary Brazilian chain smoker and sometime footballer, played for the team when he was a student of UCD back in the day.

(Even though I love to dream, that’s unfortunately more than likely an urban myth)

Founded way, way back in 1895 as the Catholic University Medical School Football Club, and in 1908 they became University College Dublin when the Catholic University merged with University College Dublin. Over the next few decades they played in university competitions,  and other various non league competitions

But it wasn’t until 1979 that UCD were elected to the league proper. Dr. Tony O’Neill, affectionately known as “The Doc”,  had a huge hand in getting UCD on board, and was the man who was instrumental in getting sports talent to the university, be they soccer, rugby, athletics or GAA performers. He introduced the sports scholarships scheme, at that time a pretty radical and unique concept to Ireland. He was general manager when the club joined the League and remained in that role until his untimely death from cancer in October 1999.

UCD AFC football away daysStruggling in the 80’s and not really making much of an impression, the club decided by the end of the 1982/83 season to turn semi-pro, and players outside of the college were allowed to represent the first team, a practice that is still maintained today, albeit with still a heavy emphasis on graduates playing for the for first team.  This seemed to have the desired effect as UCD wont their first piece of real silverware, winning the FAI cup in 1984 (sorry Leinster Senior Cup doesn’t count!), beating Shamrock Rovers 2-1 after a replay.

UCD AFC football away daysOf course winning the cup saw UCD qualify for European competition – the old European Cup Winners Cup – for the first time. They were drawn against Everton. As hard as it is to believe now, they were once a top class team and had a pretty decent side, a team of illustrious players such as Andy Gray, Peter Reid, Kevin Sheedy and Neville Southall, amongst others. Drawing the home leg 0-0, a heroic display for the part timers, they bowed out at Goodison Park, losing 1-0 win, despite hitting the post late on. The rest they say is history, as Everton went onto win the entire competition (they also won the English First Division that season). Small margins!

With financial difficulties, UCD had to sell a lot of their star players, this resulting in a relegation, and so this began a trend for a few years of promotion followed by relegation as the club was yo-yoing between the two divisions,  but it did include a 9 year stint in the top division.

Another amazing European adventure was just last year when the students, qualifying via the Uefa fair play spot, progressed past the first round of the Europa league against Luxembourgers F91 Dudelange, a full time team with considerably more resources than lowly first division outfit UCD. No one gave them a chance, some said they would embarrass the League of Ireland, yet there they were holding on to progress into the second round. For a small team it was some achievement and luckily enough I was there! Read it here

Away days in the Duchy

Since March 2015, UCD have competed in the First Division, the second tier of the League of Ireland.

From the 2008 season they have played at the UCD Bowl, also home to the college’s rugby team. ‘The Students’ play in sky blue and navy.

To the game

UCD 2 – 2 Drogheda United

Attendance: 300

UCD AFC football away daysCracking first half, it really was. Four good goals, end to end action and all round good football.

Ryan Swan scored the opening goal, running on from a lovely through ball from Watts right onto the on running Swan, who slotted it home beautifully, what a well taken goal. Not soon after Swan had a similar chance but this time the Drogheda goalie McGuinness was onto it.

But the lead didn’t last too long, as the Drogs were level as Kirwan tapped home from a spilled shot from the UCD net minder, Corbet, who did well to block the original shot.

UCD got back in front from a Gary O’Neill free kick that took a bit of a deflection, leaving McGuinness with no chance in the Drogheda goal, hitting the back of the net.

But just before half time Drogheda got the equalizer, Sam O’Connor with plenty of space manged to drill home to put the teams level before half time.

Four goals, cracking first half, game on, or so I thought, but sure enough the second half had no goals. Thank Christ I didn’t manage to go all in with 5 or more goals with some internet bookies.  It still was a very entertaining second half, lots of end to end chances for both teams, with Swan in particular going close on a few occasions.

It ended 2-2, a fair score for two teams that played good football and showed a lot of heart. A good enjoyable game. Enjoyed it.

Interview

Short chat with Stephen from the supporters group, UCD AFC supporters club.

My name is Stephen and I’m secretary with the UCD AFC supporters club and we were created in 2010 just to give a bit of a structure and direction for UCD fans going to matches.

UCD AFC football away daysAnd did you attend UCD yourself as a student!

I never did, no, in my teenage years I looked at the league of Ireland senior division table, it was only one long list at the time and I thought ok well I am got to have to start supporting a Dublin team here and Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers were at the top and I thought no they were too successful for me so I looked right down and it was all names of country towns, Drogheda, Athlone, and Dundalk, and right down at the bottom was UCD and Shelbourne, and Shelbourne I thought, just in case Shelbourne are really, really bad, I better just support the team ahead of them, that’s UCD. So I started supporting UCD.

Ok, and how long ago was that?

That was in ’83, I was watching them from the paper let’s say and from radio, and I started going to matches in ’87, 1987

And what kind of crowds do you get to support UCD? Do you get any students? Do they actually bother coming down, do you get them out of the bars?

Well yeah, it can be tricky, especially on Fridays nights. First of all supporters do come, from the campus to support players who are studying in their own faculty so you will have little groups of 2’s and 3’s and that, all the time coming down, and then occasionally especially when the pressure of exams are off you’ll get more groups coming down and maybe a singing section as well, coming through in the summer.

And I want to ask about the team, is it semi-professional or is there a few professionals or is there some students or what, what is the structure?

In the recent past it’s been mostly students and then the odd players who are especially returnees who had a connection with a club and the university before so we would say we are kind of part time graduates, students and then graduates, we even have leaving cert students in our squad as well

Ok that’s pretty cool. And all those years, the best season?

Well it probably would be a premier division season, there has been little good spells, I think I’m going to say a period of time, we were 9 years in the premier division from 85 to 94 and so that was my best time supporting UCD, and I’d like to go back there. Now we do consider ourselves a premier division team even though we are in the first division this year because we spent I think only three seasons in the first division in the last 21 years, so we do consider ourselves definitely premier division, but yeah that spell of matches, there was one year in 99/2000 where we finished fourth and qualified for the InterToto cup and then we played in Bulgaria, and then the following June, that early, so June 2000 was a good time.

And the European adventure last season?

That was amazing, that’s was 4 matches in July, was incredible, especially we were granted access to the Uefa cup very late, in March through Uefa’s own fair play calculations so Ireland got a place and that was given to UCD, and just the preparations and the amount of work that the club had to put in to prepare for that, because we held two home games here at the UCD bowl and that was very special for us that people would say no, no outside of UCD and the LOI they would insist it would have to be moved but we showed we can hold them here

You did the league proud I think, for a small club really…

I agree with you, there was a bit of negativity saying why should they, they are only first division, and its UCD and they are going to embarrass us, but we won our first game against a Luxembourg team here and then we travelled away a week later and it was just an incredible emotional match in Luxembourg because the players were out on their feet by the end of it but we went through into the next round.

And what about this season so far, how do you think its panning out?

It’s slow at the moment, Limerick have set their stall out, they have won six games out of six , and they look like they will completely dominate the league, so it’s for the lesser places, 2nd of third or play off places so we will really be fighting for that but it’s not over yet for the first place but we have Limerick next week, but at the moment the signs are they will dominate the league, but we will look to get off into the play off places again and hopefully we will get up through that.

And just one or two players to look out for, we should note?

 We have a centre back Maxi Kouogun, and it’s his second season here

He is very strong!

He is strong at the back, and he is scoring up front, he is our leading scorer at the minute with 4 goals and they have all come from headers from corners from Kieran Marty Waters, so Maxi as a centre back, and maybe a new player for us is Georgie Kelly, he came to us from Derry City, and he always looks lively, and hopefully he will be a good player for us this year, he is a new player.

How did you manage to get Kieran Marty Waters?

Well he would be one of the lets say part time professionals if you like rather than just graduates, I think we just gave him traction

Because he came from Shamrock Rovers, didn’t he?

He did come from Shamrock Rovers, he was having a quiet time there and he wasn’t getting much off a game, I think there was a few people ahead of him, so we just obviously gave him a package, and invited him to say what we are doing here and he was attracted to it.

So why do you think people should pop along to their LOI team?

Cause its local, you are going to meet people that you probably didn’t know, went to games from other circles in your life, you are supporting players who are playing at the top league in the country, and this is the best that is available, there is great friendliness and hospitality at ALL LOI grounds, I mean you go anywhere, and yet there is still a kind of a solidarity as well between us as well because we feel we are up against it with even other sports in the country as well as football in neighbouring countries as well.  We fell there is a lot of emphasis on other football but not Irish football, so we have a solidarity there between ourselves and also then at the matches themselves you have small groups singing and chanting right through the game and there is a lot of colour and you can be part of the noise or you can sit and watch the noise.

I mean the package is ok too, I mean tonight’s game, it was good I thought, a good game

Yeah we had 4 goals in the first half

A lot of chances as well

Exactly, yeah Drogheda equalised twice, and we are a bit disappointed about that, but that’s how tough the first division is, there is about 4 teams that are all about similar standard and they are looking for two play off places.

Ok thanks, that’s grand

Ok thank you

 Overall impressions:

Always like going to see UCD, two reasons, a nice little ground, and they always entertain, always play decent football, on the ground the way it should be played.

Was good to have the chat with Stephen who gave me all the low down on the club, and for joining me for a few pints after, was good.

By the way its ace that you can get good broadband at the ground, one of the definite advantages of playing within UCD!

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Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city,

Galway United, football away days

So on this occasion I am heading for the first time to see Galway United play against the Bohs.

Galway (As Gaeilge:  Gaillimh), out in the West of Ireland in County Galway, is arguably Ireland’s fun capital, a smallish sized city of about 75,000 people where there is some kind of festival going on every week. Yeah Galway is always cool. Used to spend many a family holiday as a kid out in Salthill in a cold caravan overlooking Galway bay. Ah the memories.

Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, The city was first constructed in the early twelfth century by the King of Connacht, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair,  and bears the nickname “The City of the Tribes” because “fourteen tribes” of merchant families led the city during the middle ages.  Then city was a bastion of international trade,  with French and Spanish merchant ships passing through, and even the famous Christy Columbus stopped off here once en route to Iceland.

Now its known as Ireland’s Cultural city and is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events. The largest of these annual events begins with the Galway Film Fleadh and the Galway Arts Festival in July, the Galway Races in August, and the Galway International Oyster Festival in September

Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, Also its a student town, with University College, Galway (U.C.G.) having an enrollment over 15,000, all adding to the general feel good vibe of the city.

Coming from Dublin, I could have got the train from Dublin Heuston, but it was a tad bit too expensive, so I went with the cheaper option, taking the bus from Busáras Bus Station, a three hour plus trip but at least it had good wifi to keep me amused.

Pub watch

Garavan’s Bar – Galway City

Address: 46 William Street, Galway

http://www.garavans.ie/

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Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, Just off the bus, and after a bloody long journey, was just itching for a good pint. First port of call was Garavan’s, for no reason other than it was fairly central in the pedestrian zone, and looked decent from the outside. Inside it was all traditional, and very cozy looking, with a lot of great comfy looking snugs around the pub which is always cool to see.

 

The bar, as I was told by a regular, is famous for its whiskey, and on show in the many whiskey cabinets located throughout the bar there was a pretty amazing selection of whiskeys from Ireland and afar, certainly dazzling to the eye. Apparently they have whiskey samplers, on a wooden platter tray of three tasting glasses, for anyone who wants to try out some of their whiskies.

Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, Good friendly service, and a top barman who kindly let me charge my phone, which was near dead. Pint was good, went down a treat. Local’s friendly, easy to have the chat here, good atmosphere was building up. Not a mad crowd of craziness, more like a good place to have a quiet chat in good company.

The bar also offers traditional music over the weekends.

One of the oldest bars in the city, has been trading here since the late 1930’s and still remaining in family hands for three generations, the building itself has stood on William Street since the 17th Century.

A lovely pub, really enjoyed my pint here, another one to further check out when I am back in Galway in the future.

Hole In The Wall Bar

Address: 9 Eyre Street, Galway, Ireland

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Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, Was meeting the supporters group in the Hole In the Wall pub. First impressions, it had pretty cool horse racing murals at its side, and was also bloody difficult to find the entrance. Door tightly shut, and not very welcoming!
Inside, the horse racing theme continues as the walls adorned with all of the greats of the past in the four legged variety. I guess this pub would be a cool place during the Galway races, if that’s what floats your boat.
Interior was rustic, bit old fashioned, a lot of room out the back, and apparently there was another bar around the other side.
Has a thatch roof, the pub is over a hundred years old, and legend has it that it got its name due to having a hole in the back garden of the pub which was adjoined to the back of the Garda Station. The old boys in blue were known to slip in through the hole for a quick pint without getting seen by the public. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit that story!

Apart from the supporters there appeared to be no other customers

Tigh Fox Trad House

Address: 2 Forster Street, Galway City

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Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, (After the game) Since it was lashing down, and I didn’t fancy waiting the 40 minutes or so for the next bus back to Dublin, popped into this bar, right across from the station, and located just off Eyre Square, in the heart of Galway.
This bar is well known for its twice daily trad sessions, 5.30p.m and 9.30p.m, seven days a week.

Sat at the very small but cozy bar. There was a nice hearty open fire lit, and many people relaxing, a mixed crowd of locals and tourists, chatting away over good pints.
Friendly service, and a cracking pint of Guinness. Just popped in for the one, but would have liked to have stayed for more.
Intimate and small.

Galway United F.C

Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city,

Arena/Stadium: Eamonn Deacy Park

Location: Dyke Road, Galway

Capacity: 5,000 (3,300 seated)

Manager: Tommy Dunne

Founded: 1937

Leagues: League of Ireland Premier Division

Club home page 

info@galwayunitedfc.ie

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Founded way back in the 1937, and originally known as Galway Rovers, they pretty much did nothing for over 40 years as it wasn’t until 1977 that the club were finally invited to join the then League of Ireland. It wasn’t long after til they reached their first senior final in 1981, losing the League Cup final on penalties to Dundalk, in Oriel Park.

Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, The following season they changed their name to Galway United and it most have been a good omen, as the club went on to compete in two cup finals in successive seasons. United made their first appearance in an FAI Cup final in 1984–85 but lost 1–0 to Shamrock Rovers. With Rovers doing the domestic double this meant that Galway United qualified for European football, a first for the club. Playing Lyngby BK from Denmark, in the Cup Winners Cup, they certainly didn’t disgrace themselves, exiting the competition with a very respectable 4-2 agg. defeat.  The second cup final I mentioned was against Dundalk in the League cup in 1985–86 defeating the “Lillywhites” 2–0 to win the clubs first major piece of silverware. A good season all round as they came second to Shamrock Rovers in the league, their highest ever placing in the top division.

It wasn’t until 1991 that Galway United finally landed their hands on the big one, the FAI Cup.  At Lansdowne Road, and with five minutes remaining on the clock, Johnny Glynn tapped home a late goal to beat Shamrock Rovers 1–0. Victory and forever remembered in the hearts of the Galway faithful. Also remembered for jumping the advertising hoarding, to embrace the fans, one of the more memorable goal celebrations in a cup final.

Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, But the fans were brought back to earth with a crash, when the next season, Galway United inexplicably got themselves relegated to the First Division. It was for only one season, but this became something of a pattern for a good few years, promotion and relegation the main themes from the 1990s to the 0000’s.

They did win another League Cup in 1997 though, so it wasn’t all bad.  Until that is the 2011 season, where the club found themselves rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division, heavily in debt and somehow having Nick Leeson involved with the club. Yes THAT Nick Leeson, the guy who brought on the collapse of Barings Bank, at that time United Kingdom’s oldest merchant bank.  That was never going to work out too pretty for the club, and sure enough the club was not granted a licence to compete in the League of Ireland owing to its debts and the unlikelihood that it could seriously finance a team for the next season.

Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, But Galway is too big a city not to have a LOI team, so with the help of the FAI (cough, spit), GUST (Galway United Supporters Trust), Salthill Devon, Mervue United and the Galway Football Association, all working together to form a unified club for the city, a team to play under the new name of Galway F.C., starring in the 2014 season and in the newly renamed Eamonn Deacy Park (ex Terryland Park).

They got off to a magical start as they won promotion to the Premier straight away via a playoff, and before the start of the 2015 season Galway F.C. were re-named Galway United, going full circle on the history of the club and where we are at present!

To the game

Galway United 1 – 0 Bohemians

Attendance: 1,170.

Not the greatest game ever, entertaining in parts, but to be fair with gale force winds it was hard to get any rhythm to the game for both teams. Galway played the better football, created more chances and deserved to win.

Stephen Cantwell got a goal in the first half but it was correctly adjudged to be offside, a little unlucky as I dont think the Bohs defence knew a whole lot about it.

Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, Ayman Ben Mohamed was doing a lot of good work for Bohs down the wing, and had a chance that Galway net minder Conor Winn comfortably caught..

And that was more or less the first half.

Galway playing more attacking football in the second half, with the, as always, lively Vinny Faherty taking a few pot shots at goal.

Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, The goal eventually came, and it was coming, when in the 77th minutes Padraic Cunningham played a suburb weighted pass from the wing onto Faherty who, with a deft touch, turned the ball past Dean Delaney in the Bohs goals. Lovely goal, particularly as many in the stand were wondering was the pass a bit of luck with the wind, or was it really a weighted pass. It was extremely windy and I guess you have to give Cunningham credit, a suburb pass considering the conditions.

Bohs had a goal waved off for offside near the end, another correct call, and Galway easily enough held onto the three points.

Was impressed with Galway, they had moments of good linkage play, and looked lively upfront. It was a difficult day to play football but any football that was played was all from Galway. Bohs were a real disappointment, just expected a bit more from them. Didn’t looked like a cohesive team at all, very disjointed.

Interview

Short chat with Brian from the supporters group, the Maroon Army

My name is Brian and I am involved with the maroon army and we are around for the last couple of seasons now, basically we are just trying to improve the atmosphere at games, trying to have displays, but most of all its just try to get a better atmosphere at the games, and try, including away games as well, try to get more support going to away games and we have seen an increase in away games as well.Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city,

What would you say is the size of the group, is it getting bigger all the time?  

It’s getting bigger all the time, it depends on the home game, but for the last couple of games, at home and towards the end of last season there was certainly a big group I’d say maybe 150, 200 ,and it’s always increasing, especially for away games as well

What got you into supporting Galway united, because a lot of young fellas don’t think of the LOI?

Well I’m a supporter now for 15 odd years, or more, it was actually when I was at school the manager at the time Don O’Riordan came to the school and they were handing out free tickets for the next home game and I went along and I was hooked. And I supported a bit of English football as well but to be honest I had more affiliation with my home team and just more passion and because I am from Galway, and Galway city, it means just a lot more to me

I was going to ask what’s the best season in those years, but of course this is a new Galway team!!

It is a new Galway team but it still is for the majority of the supporters it still always been Galway United, we fought to keep it there, the name change, obviously they were gone for a few years, but we always treated it as Galway united, and the name was still there and eventually it just came back in. so to be honest for most supporters it’s always been there, and a lot of people have worked to keep the name there.

Did you get worried that those 1 or 2 or 3 years that it looked like there would be no team…

Yeah there was definitely a lot of concern, certainly there was a few local teams like Mervue and Salthill that participated in the LOi , but for a lot of people because they are just suburbs of Galway city , I am not from Mervue or Salthill so they have nothing to do with me really, so yeah there was definitely concern that they wouldn’t come back but there was a lot of hard work from people behind the scenes that kept it going.

So its good to be back

Oh it’s great to be back

In those years that you have been following, what has been the highlight for you?

Mm I mean…..

Not a lot of success…

There is not a lot of success, there certainly hasn’t been many trophies in my time. I just came onto the fold just after they won the league cup in 1997, which was our last trophy. We had a couple of good games like where we had relegation play offs, and things like that

I suppose one that lives in the memory was when we played away to UCd and we beat them 1-0 and it kept us up for the season

That’s online, the video

Online yeah, and Jeff Kenna was in charge, there was just a real good feel around the club at that time we had about 700 or 800 travel up from Galway for that game

 

Were you at that game?

I was

The atmosphere at that game looks amazing

Yeah it was really amazing, just around at that time things seemed like they were picking up but Jeff Kenna left then so….

He didn’t really go anywhere but that moment in time it certainly felt that there was a lot there to work on

But you are getting off to a good start this season

 Yeah we look very strong this season I have to say, strongest squad in a few years I think we will be top 5 or 6 this season I reckon, we look at lot stronger and fitter and he has brought in more players and more bodies

Overall there is a good squad there, and if we are missing a couple of players I don’t think we will be stuck, we have a good depth in the squad

And 1 or 2 players to look out for?

Yeah John Sullivan came from Bray, he looks very, very good, real strong holding midfielder, which I think we were missing last season, and

Bray miss him this season

Yeah Bray are missing him by the look of things as well,

Stephen Folan returns to Galway, he hasn’t played for Galway united before, but he is a good Galway city man, and he looks very, very strong at the back

There is a good spine to the team

And if you are looking for a younger player Pauric Cunningham, striker from Hedford, scored a hat trick there against Mayo League in the league cup during the week, and he looks like a guy with a lot of potential, I think he possibly could start today against Bohs, and I wouldn’t bet against him scoring against them either.

So what about today’s game then?

Galway United, football away days, Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway city, I think we will beat Bohs, I think it will be tough, Bohs have had a poor start, they won during the week, in the league cup though, so they probably have a little more confidence though, and they have couple of players back, I know Anto Murphy is back for them, he is a strong player for them, I think it will be tight but I think  Galway united will be good enough tonight

What’s your prediction for tonight?

I reckon 2-1

What would you consider rivals to Galway United?

Sligo Rovers would be the biggest rivals I suppose, I mean the Connaught derby for us is a big game, Athlone used to be, whenever we play them, it’s because they are, I think they probably are the nearest club, to us, nearer than Sligo or limerick

Even with Longford there is a bit of a rivalry there, even though they are a bit away

You have to say that, poor old Longford!

Who would you consider Cult hero?

For me Billy Cleary would be my cult hero, he is from the Claddagh, a good Galway man, he was a just gun-ho kind of solid defender, no one would get past him really, he had a bit of a reputation for been in refs ears and stuff like that but he was always a solid player

And if you had something to say to people that are in Galway who are not quite sure about hoping upto Terry land what would you say to them?

I’d say if you are anyway interested in football you should be making your way upto Eamon Deasy Park at the moment

So they changed the name?

Yes it used to be Terryland park, its Eamon Deasy Park now, because Eamonn Deasy I don’t know if you have heard of him would have been a Galway united legend, he played for Aston Villa, he passed away a couple of years ago, so they changed the name of the park a few years ago

They deserve their support, there is a good solid structure up there now, good team, good manager, and as well as that there is a good atmosphere, it’s a bit of banter even if you’re not enjoying the football, there is a bit of crack to be had,  you know Friday evenings what else would you be at you know!

It’s a good place to be, a good atmosphere and you get to know a lot of people from different backgrounds, with different politics ,different you know,  I think you go will go up there I think you will learn something more than anything

What will I learn today?

Today you will learn that Galway United could possible win the league this year, ha!

Really

You never know, you never know

Ok thanks Brian

 

Overall impressions: really enjoyed hanging out with the guys from the Maroon Army, for a few pints, a chat, etc. as they say, “a great bunch of lads”. Nice guys who have their heads screwed on.

Also enjoyed Galway, good town with a lot of good boozers. Didn’t think Galway was so far away from Dublin, cunt of a distance on the bus, so it was a pity I couldn’t really hang around too much. (I had to head back to Dublin to see Blood N Whiskey!)

Was good to finally get Galway United off my to do groundhop list. Nice little ground, friendly fans, and the team try at least to play some football on the deck.

Yeah Galway is a cool city!

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Longford Town, football away days

Longford Town, football away days

Next game in our LOI round Ireland extravaganza was to the bad lands of Ireland, the Midlands, Longford, to see Longford town play Bray Wanderers. Since I don’t live that far away, I have seen De Town play a few times, so this wasn’t a new one for me at all.

Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of irelandLongford (An Longfort) is a smallish town, with a population of about 9600 in the centre of Ireland in the county of Longford, easily accessible from Dublin and beyond by train, bus and road. The town is most known for its St Mel’s Cathedral dominating the skyline of the metropolis.  And a certain famous Mr. Gibson was called after the Cathedral, his mother hailing from the town.

The town has seen better days, and one could argue that the recent upturn in the economy has yet to fully trickle down to Longford, but the town certainly has a lot of characters, and its still better than Athlone!

 

Pub watch

Andy Byrne’s Pub, Longford

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Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of irelandFirst pub ventured into was Andy Byrne’s Pub, a good mid-day crowd in, watching the horse racing and the early afternoon football on the box, good bit of banter from the bar man, decent atmosphere and noticed that they had St Mel’s Pale Ale on tap. St Mel’s, of course, the local brewery that has proved a bit of a hit in the midlands and beyond. Good pint in great surroundings, enjoyed my brief time here. Recommended.

Kavanagh’s Bar, Longford

Address: Earl St, Longford

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Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of irelandThe next beer was in Kavanagh’s Bar, which had a bit of life in it, had a nice long bar to spend the time in good company. Looked like a decent boozer, and had a good atmosphere for that time of day, just buzzing along.

Kane’s Bar, Longford

Address: 27 Ballymahon St, Longford

Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of irelandKane’s Bar had some strange frontage, doubling up as a travel agency, and easy enough to pass by if in search of a pub.  Not really a whole lot happening in this bar, was very dead. Got another St Mels beer, and left not long after that.

Roy’s Bar, Longford

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Don’t really know what to make of this bar. Certainly was one of the weirdest bars I have drank in for a long time. Was so mad I did two stints in the pub, before and after the game, just to check to see if my senses were not playing tricks on me.

Great location, and looked decent from the outside, not too bad inside either, nice décor alright. Having the beers and a bit of a chat with the bar girl, all good fun. Bar manager starts shouting at his punters, not sure if this was some kind of “Longford style banter”. One fella left due to it, shouted out the door. Either way it wasn’t my business.
He eventually tells the bar lady to go home, she wasn’t needed for the day. A bit of a shock not just for her, but for us as well, as she was a good bar lady, chatty and fun, and there was a Saturday trade building up.
Had two pints, which were fine.

Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of ireland
Returned later, place was busy. But for a small bar, with a mixed crowd in, the music was tuned to the last, hard dance blasting out which was kind of out of place for the crowd that was in it and the setting.
And that wasn’t the end of it. The bar manager decides to start mopping the floor in a busy bar for no apparent reason. Getting in the way of people trying to have a drink. Was funny anyway, what I can I say. Must be a Longford thing. Lol

J P Reilly’s Bar Longford

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Richmond Street, Longford

Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of irelandPre match pints were to be in J P Reilly’s Bar, where Section O, the Longford supporters group, managed to get a really good deal, all pints for three euros, and a free bus to the ground. Top job.

Nice bar, very good bar man who was quite friendly, played a few games of pool on a very dodgy table, was a good bar to sink a few good pints before the game, Enjoyed it.

Longford Town F.C.Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of ireland

Arena/Stadium: City Calling Stadium, Longford,
Location: Strokestown Road, Longford

Manager: Tony Cousins

Founded: 1924
Leagues: League of Ireland Premier Division

Club home page 

ltfc1924@gmail.com

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Longford Town or, as the locals lovingly call the team, “De town”, play in the LOI Premier Division. The club play their home matches at the imaginatively titled ‘City Calling Stadium’, which has a capacity of about 7,000, and are usually decked out in red and black.

Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of irelandFounded way back in 1924, the club were only elected into the league of Ireland in 1984, 60 years later! A history of not much happening, usually a low feeder team at the bottom of the first division. That was until a certain Stephen Kenny took the reins of the club in 1998. Kenny was an unknown, having virtually no playing career to speak of (just 4 games for Home farm) and at just 27, it was a gamble I guess a team like Longford, with no real expectations, could afford to make.  His three season stint at the club transformed the club, as they won promotion to the League of Ireland Premier Division, reached an FAI Cup final for the first time (losing out to Bohemians), and subsequently, qualifying for Europe in the Uefa Cup, another first for the club. Leaving in 2001, he didn’t win anything but there can be no doubt he laid the foundations for what was to come.

Taking up the reins from Kenny was Alan Mathews, a Dub who had made over 80 appearances for the club. Again another novice manager thrown in at the deep end, but he eventually became the most successful manager in Longford Town’s history, delivering their first senior trophy, the 2003 FAI Cup (a 2–0 win over St. Patrick’s) and retaining it the following year, winning a cup double of the FAI Cup and League Cup.

Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of irelandThe club will be particularly remembered for a quite simply awful fuck up in the Uefa Cup, 3-1 up in the tie and with an away goal away to the mighty Carmarthen Town, they let in four soft goals in the second half to exit Europe 5-3!

Relegation in 2007 to the first, was a disappointment as they struggled there for 6 barren years before returning to the top league last season, finishing in a very decent sixth place.

Playing out of the City Calling Stadium, what was for a long time called Flancare park, built in 1924 but getting a major face lift in 2001 the stadium today can hold about just under 7000, all seated.  The club though struggle to get fans out there as the stadium is not in the town and located three miles just west of Longford town centre.

LongfordTown 1 – 1 Bray Wanderers

Attendance: 700

Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of irelandThis game was pretty much ninety minutes of pure boredom, offered up by both teams in a wet and cold night. I had brought a friend who hates football, his first time at a LOI game. I think he hates football even more now!

As far as I could tell there were only about two shots on target in the first half alone

Second half Bray came out a little stronger, with the wingback Douglas catching my eye, but I am not sure if that’s because of his striking read hair, but anyway they finally got the first goal when Dean Kelly scored shooting from inside the box to put it past Skinner in the Longford goals.

I did get to see a laughable goal though. The Dundalk net minder, Cherrie, a goalie I have long been a fan of, totally made a hames of a back pass, kicking the ball off the body of David O’ Sullivan, who I am not so sure knew too much about it. It rebounded high over the goalkeepers head, straight back into the empty net. Comical!

Late on Longford’s O’Connor was sent off for a bit of a rash tackle on Creevy, but Bray didn’t really capitalize with the extra man and the game eventually fizzled out for a dour draw.

 

Interview with Kieran from  “Section O”, Longford Supporters Group, and who also runs his own brilliant blog “Between the Stripes” on all things Longford Town FC, well worth checking out……

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Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of ireland

 

So what’s your name?

Kieran Burke

And Section o?

Yes, Section o, we are going for our 15th year now, since 2001 the group was set up, I haven’t always been over to that side of the ground myself but 15 years overall now so…

And why Longford Town, why the LOI?

Kind of strange actually cause I was born in England myself, but I am Irish, my family is Irish, so we moved here in 2003 and Jesus I thought when moved here I thought it was fantastic that the local area had its own football team and I thought Jesus this is something I can really get behind. Went to my first game in 2003, think it was a league game at home against cork city, I think we lost but, ever since then I have always been passionate about the town and heavily involved with it the last few years

What got you into section o, what was the setting up of that?

Well section o kind of went away for a few years, there was always a few lads that stuck loyal to it but when we were in the first division they were dark days, the attendances were poor, and there wasn’t many sticking to it but then for I think it was for 2013 or even 2012 when we were making a push for the first division title one of the lads said maybe we can get this going again and made a big push to get as many people over to that side of the ground as possible, ever since then I have been hooked, I just love the whole atmosphere to it.

Since you have been following them, what has been the best season, the highlight for you?

It has to be 2014 winning the first division, three days in a row out celebrating after that it was absolutely fantastic. It’s hard to know whether anything like that will be matched again but even if we got relegated and people say it would be great if we went down and won it again, but it would never be the same again, seven years in the first division struggling to get back and finally doing it, so that definitely

What do you think of tonight’s game anyway, it was a 1 all draw with Bray?

Am I allowed to swear on this?

Yeah of course, ha, it’s a drinking website you can say whatever you want to say!

My eyes are bleeding after that game, that was absolutely SHITE

It was pretty even though?

Pretty even because both teams were absolute dross. I have never seen so much long ball played in my life…I don’t know what type of shape the team is playing in …. It’s going to be a long season I think…

So what do you think about 2016 then, what would be considered a good season?

Oh anything about 10th place I will be celebrating like a league title because I don’t think compared to last year’s squad….I don’t think it’s there at all

So what players….I know its 4 games in, but what players should we look out for Longford anyway?

Kevin O’Connor definitely, he is getting on a bit now, but he still is only 30, still young enough in LOI terms but he is just a fantastic midfield player, so good on the ball, he wasn’t great tonight, but I don’t think he is fully fit, injured last week, so maybe not fully back at it, Josh O’Hanlon is on loan from England, from Bournemouth, so he should pick up as the season goes on and then Jamie Mulhall is a very talented player

So just a question. Rivals, it must be Athlone town

Athlone town, yeah that’s a big rivalry, a lot of people don’t think it when they talk about LOI rivalries, they talk of Shelbourne, or they talk about Bohs-Rovers …but when the two teams are going well, which isn’t that often,  but when the two teams are going well and when a derby game comes up ..there isn’t an atmosphere like it, its unbelievable…

Is it hard to get people out to the Town,

Yeah its very hard

Ye guys I thought were pretty impressive tonight, you made an effort

We made an effort, I suppose the numbers weren’t great, but we did make a lot of noise, you can probably tell from my voice but we are trying again to get another big push on this year and try to get people out to games but it really isn’t easy especially when the team isn’t as going as well as people might have hoped …..its not easy so….

So that was Longford. Bit of a strange one alright. Longford is a town that is just getting by, silently doing its own thing in the middle of Ireland. If WW3 started tomorrow, dare i say Longford wouldn’t take notice, or be affected too much. Keep on keeping on…….

As much as I really admire Kieran and what he and the boyz in section O are doing, and with a bit of unnecessary hostility from the Longford FC board too, but sorry to say I did back Longford pre season to be relegated at 11/2. Just figured replacing an already threadbare team with a lot of youngsters is a tough ask.

Longford Town FC, Longford, St mels, section O, football away days, football groundhopping, league of ireland

Bit trippy but fuck it i was bored!

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Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, cork

Cobh Ramblers, football away days

Away day number two.

Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkWorking all week, just time enough for a game on the weekend. Only feasible fixture was in Cobh, to see the Ramblers take on Drogheda. Never in the town before, I travelled down from Dublin, Heuston station. It took about 3 hours and a bit.

Cobh (Gaelic form of Cove), previously known as Queenstown, is a lovely seaside town on the south coast of County Cork.

Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkThe town is probably most famous as the last port of call for the ill-fated RMS Titanic, and has a long association with seafarers and seamen thanks to its natural harbour setting, with the Irish Naval Service setting up its HQ in the vicinity.
These days Cobh is set up a large tourist hub, with cruise liners stopping by each year with people flocking to experience all the Titanic history in the town.

Overall I liked Cobh, a nice picturesque town to while away a few hours.

Bar watch: Plenty of good bars in the town, very easy to meet people, have the craic, great pints of Murphys and Beamish all day.

The Quays

Address:17 Westbourne Place, Cobh, Co. Cork

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Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkRight beside the train station, I actually walked past this bar at first, but then I smelt some cod emanating from the side of the bar………..and boy did it smell good, so did a quick u turn, and followed my nose. Decided I might as well get the breakfast/dinner and lunch sorted.

The pub has a large outdoor seating area, a good location in the heart of the harbour, but, as I like to do, I drank at the bar, which had a nice and smart décor.

Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkWasn’t sure what to drink. I had Murphy’s before, and hated it……….but to be fair it was in Dublin so……after some consultation with the bar lady she convinced me to give it another try……..and I have to say the stout was fantastic. FANTASTIC. Drank it down quick enough. Just had to have another one. It really was THAT good.

Ordered some cod and chips, was very tasty, and wasn’t waiting too long for it at all.

Liked this bar, could have spent the day here, great location, very welcoming staff, relaxed and cosy atmosphere. Recommended. I did leave a tip for the staff…………not something I do too often, ha, but that was tip top service.

 

Kelly’s Bar

Address:Casement Square, Cobh

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Walking more into the town, first pub that I came across was Kelly’s bar………..looked like a decent pub from the outside…………nice frontage…………and with the rugby on the box was teeming with people.

Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkGood friendly vibe in the bar, and with a few Welsh visitors in the bar, was a lively atmosphere especially as the Welsh were getting a tanking from the English.

Friendly staff. Fast and efficient. Bar lady served a decent pint.

In the main bar it was really standing room only, which wasn’t a problem as there were a lot of big screens to watch the sport on.

Lovely traditional interior, wooden floor with an authentic bar counter. Outside has perfect views of the harbour.

Good pub, liked it, good for watching sport, and had a laid back local feel to it.


Rob Roy bar

Address: 2/3 Pearse Square, Cobh

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Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkIn the centre of the town, was recommend as a place for some good music on a Saturday night. Music didn’t start when I visited, but what was there was a lot of good chat and a very lively atmosphere. Bar was pretty crowded, so it was easy enough to chit-chat with people, nice pints, and I regret not staying there longer. Has a real local feel to the bar. Pity there was no music on.

 

Titanic Bar and Grill, Cobh

Address: Casement Square, Cobh

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Since I am in Cobh it would seem a shame not to drink in the Titanic bar!

This gastropub has a direct link to the past as the location actually was once the ticketing offices for White Star Line, owners of the “Titanic” Ocean Liner, and where passengers gathered to be collected and transported to the Titanic anchored nearby. The Passengers on that tragic day consisted of 123 passengers, mostly steerage passengers for the lower decks.

Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkTitanic Bar was officially opened in August 2000 by Millvina Dean, the youngest Titanic Survivor who was nine weeks old when Titanic sank

The interior is pretty impressive, decked out a bit like a ship, quite spacious, luxurious, spotless, and very well designed, with a lot of history everywhere for the buffs to get excited about.

Was pretty dead when I was there, not much of a crowd, and the bar staff seemed more interested in chatting up some females at the bar than anything else, which is fair enough I guess!

Pint was fine, service fine, but no atmosphere or ambiance

Good location, overlooking the harbour

If you like some cool history as you sip your pint then this is a great spot, but I prefer somewhere with a bit more life…….

 

Connie Doolan’s

Address: East Beach, Cobh

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Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkWandering around the city, stumbled upon this small pokey old fashioned looking pub. Small pub, an old fellas kind of bar. Walked straight to the bar, immediately into conversation……also a small dog was jumping at me while another one was reading the paper!

Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkGood conversation with the bar man and punters, good fun,

Easily my favourite pub of the day, had a lot of character.

Décor is very dated but who cares when the company is so good.

 

Cobh Ramblers Bar and Lounge

Address: St. Colman’s Park, Cobh

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Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkKnowing that the club had a bar, I made the longish walk past the Church up the hill towards the club grounds.

Always love a club that has its own bar. Really don’t know why all clubs don’t get this going in their grounds, it’s a good way to earn extra revenue.

Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkHad a few pints in here. Good banter from both sets of fans. Drogheda youth were a bit biting but it was all in good spirit. The bar man had to tell them to calm down a few times, but he was well in control. Good barman. And lady. Served everyone quick enough, which was great as they were busy between the front bar and the lounge at the back.

Missed the start of the game, wasn’t aware of the 7.15 kick off time……….

Good to mingle with fans before the game. Some of the Drogs fans were sound enough, hopefully will get to meet them again when I hit Drogheda.

 

Cobh Ramblers F.C.

Arena/Stadium: St. Colman’s Park, Cobh
Manager: Stephen Henderson
Location: Cobh
Founded: 1922
Leagues: League of Ireland First Division

Club home page 

cobhramblers2@eircom.net

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Cobh Ramblers, “The Rams”, from County Cork, are an Irish football club in the League of Ireland First Division. The club, founded in 1922, play their home matches at St. Colman’s Park. The club’s colours are claret and blue.

Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkTheir only senior silverware is the First Division title that they won in 2007, when Stephen Henderson guided them to the top division for the first time in 12 years. Sadly they were relegated the next season, and then after failing to get a first division license they languished in the A championship (third tier) for a while…a four year hoodoo, only getting a license to play again in the first in 2013.

Nothing really else to talk about in terms of success, there was a cup run in 1976 that saw the club reach the last four, bowing out to Sligo after three replays……….

Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkI guess when people talk about Cobh they usually make a reference to Roy Keane, as it was here that the bold Roy started out in the senior game, and eventually making that transfer to Nottingham Forest. A transfer that got the club a paltry £47,000 was struck with Cobh Ramblers in the summer of 1999. Significant as not long after, in 1992, he moved to Manchester United for a then British transfer record of £3.75 million.

Another hot headed Corkonian, Stephen Ireland also started his career with Springfield Ramblers, the clubs underage outfit.

Home games are at the 5900 (1,350 seated) capacity St Colman’s Park.

In Oct 2015 Stephen Henderson signed a new three-year contract with the club, and the club have high hopes of returning to the top division again sometime soon.

Train watch: Get to Cork first, from Heuston Station in Dublin, takes about 3 hours. Then from Cork Kent to Cobh, a regular commuter service, taking about 20 minutes.

Cobh Ramblers 1 – 1 Drogheda United

Attendance: 497

Not the greatest game I have ever seen. Took a while for the game to settle.

Drogheda got a soft penalty at about 30 minutes, dispatched by Sean Thornton.

Second half was much better as Cobh went in search of the equaliser. I thought Cobh looked pretty good, particularly on the wings, and definitely deserved the goal when it came from Shane O’Connor.

Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkDrogheda had a man sent off for a bad tackle, and with the extra man Cobh got the equaliser. A nice passing sequence ended up with Mylod making a header, that seemed to stay in the air forever, back across goal, where O Conner headed it low past the Drogheda goalkeeper. Nice team goal.

Cobh had a lot more of the ball in the end, but without doing too much with it. I think a draw really was a fair enough result.

First half dour, second pretty good. Overall an enjoyable game, good atmosphere from both sets of fans, plenty of chat, and a was good to finally knock Cobh off my to do groundhop list.

Interview with Thomas from the “Cobh Ramblers Supporters Trust”

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Cobh Ramblers, Roy Keane, cobh, titanic, football away days, league of ireland, drogheda fc, corkSo my name is Thomas and I’m nineteen years of age and I’m a member of

Cobh Ramblers supporters trust, so they were set up the end of last season to help the club off the field and we all pitch in a tenner a month just to help out the club

So for the last 3 or 4 years I have been involved in the club, before that I was a fan since I was about 7 or 8 and so that’s basically it!

What got you into Cobh ramblers, why did you get into the LOI, cause a lot of people don’t really follow the LOI?

Yeah, I don’t know cause I always liked football, English football, or playing myself, I don’t know something just clicked. I liked the idea of representing Cobh on the national scale and it was something different, like not every town has a league of Ireland team and I thought its something you should be proud off

And you get involved with the people, there are very nice people involved with the LOI

There hasn’t been a lot of success for Cobh!

No it hasn’t been great the last couple of years, I mean there has been a few small things, like the under 19’s won the cup, the national cup, so things like that give you hope for the future that the club is going in the right direction, but I think this season will be different

(Two very curious young lads) What’s your name?

Jake

What’s your name?

Nathan

And why do you like Cobh Ramblers?

Because I have been following them since I was three

And what about you?

My dad used to be living in Cobh Ramblers (sic)

How do you think 2016 will go?

I think they will win the league

Really, are you sure?

I think they will win the league too!

Who is your favourite player?

Adam O ’Sullivan and Jimmy Griffin

Jimmy Giffin! (sic)

Why is he so good?

Because Jimmy Griffin is my dad’s friend and Adam O ’Sullivan is my favourite player for the summer camp

And he is so cool!

(Back to Thomas) And what about yourself then, 2016?

Yeah I definitely think it will be a good season. Based on the first game anyway, based on the Shels game. I wasn’t at it but I heard good things, and with the players signed they definitely can compete in the division this year I think

You got off to a good start against Shelbourne (won away, 0-1)

Yeah Shelbourne are a handy side now and to get a win against them its not an easy game, could be a good start.

And what about tonight’s game, what do you think, against Drogheda?

They only beat Waterford 2-1 last week and no disrespect to Waterford but they are not the best team around so they are there for the taking to be honest,

Even when Cobh were not having the best times, this place isn’t easy to get 3 points

Of course Cork City must be your rivals I guess

Yeah they would be, but we don’t really play them other than friendlies so there is not much of a rivalry there

So the First division then who would you consider…

Probably Waterford, now we have Limerick in the league this year, but Waterford would be more of a Derby

And for this season players to look out for

Eh, I think the two Galvin Twins that come over from England, Evan and Cory

Twins?

Yeah they are twins, they are very good so far, so I’d definitely keep an eye on them, they’d be moving on from here I’d say, going onto bigger things, the two of them, definitely.

And what would be considered a success this season?

I think play offs are a kind of a minimum and that’s what Hendo has set for the players, that’s his aim, Top 3, and if they get promotion that’s unbelievable. I think play offs are something steady to build on.

And what’s this Roy Keane, Cobh connection, explain that….

Actually he didn’t start his career here, he started his career with Rockmount up in the city and then, obviously he wanted to further his career, so he signed for Cobh to play league of Ireland

He was only down here a season, a season and a half, before he was spotted by Nottingham Forest

Yeah he still comes down, he was down here just a couple of weeks ago for one of the friendlies so he keeps in touch

Well who is a real legend of the team?

I suppose a lot of the 2007 team like of John Meade, Kevin Murray, Davon O’Neill, they are players that are fairly historic

And have you travelled to Dublin to support Cobh, have you travelled far and wide?

Oh I have been to Salthill, Waterford, Athlone, Dublin, yeah I have been all over the place, really

What was the best place you have been to?

Athlone was good, yeah Athlone back in 2013, a few weeks back into the season, it was brilliant, yeah

What can I expect tonight, my first experience to see Ramblers play?

It’s a good place, it’s a nice club, it’s a nice atmosphere, everyone gets on well

It’s a nice club, its great to be part of it and I think you will enjoy it

That’s great, thanks.

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Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, Porterhouse

Bray Wanderers, football away days

So here we go. We have decided to try and get to every League of Ireland ground this season (2016). Can it be done? Who knows, but I will give it a bloody good try (just don’t tell the wife!)

Opening day of the new season, we decided that Bray would be a good place to start. Easy to get too, a nice enough town, the ground close to the station and, more importantly, a town with a lot of decent boozers.

Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhouseBray (Irish: Bré, meaning “hill”), with a population of about 32,000, is a long established seaside town in Wicklow, close to Dublin, and popular with tourists and day trippers who like to get in some good cliff walking along the coast line (7km), enjoy the beach views, or hang out in the numerous hotels and guesthouses, shops, restaurants and evening entertainment dotted along the extensive promenade.

Bray is also home to Ireland’s most favourite Olympian, Katie Taylor, the boxing champ who won Gold in London 2012, and has won countless World and European titles. I guess they will build the statue after she wins gold again in Rio.

Ok Pub watch: Overall enjoyed all the bars I drank in, no problems, good vibe and all were pretty decent establishments. Bray definitely is a good place for a beer crawl, and hopefully will be back again in the near future.

Hibernia Inn, Bray

 Address: 1, Royal Marine Terrace, Strand Rd, Bray, Co. Wicklow

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Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, Porterhouse

Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhouseFirst bar of the day, handy location and in close proximity to the Dart, kind of hard not to have a pint here! Very enjoyable pint, good service, nice and clean décor. Not much of a crowd in. Menu looked a bit pricey, or at least too pricey for us…..

Great views of the Bray seaside tough, and have been in this bar before so it can get a good atmosphere and not a bad place for a few beers.

 

The Porterhouse Bar, Bray

Address: Strand Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, Strand Rd, Bray, Co. Wicklow

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The porterhouse are a chain of bars that have a reputation for serving craft beers and holding a lot of good time music events.

Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhouseBray was where it all started, having the first Porterhouse way back in 1989

Since then they have opened up bars all around Ireland, London and in New York. And have even started to brew their own range of popular beers

Just a few minutes from the station and on the promenade, looked pretty inviting from the outside. A lovely view of the Bray seaside, and with plenty of room to sit outside, but we decided to sit at the bar, as we usually do!

Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhouseHad a German beer, and ordered some food, fish n chips. The meal was pretty good, albeit a bit pricey for the smallish portion I got, but hell it did the job as I was full and didn’t have to eat again for the rest of the day/evening.

Interior looks fantastic, homely, a welcoming cosy vibe going on with a decent sized crowd in.

Good friendly service, and didn’t have to wait too long for the food and pint

I enjoyed my food and pint here, busy but plenty of secluded spots for a quiet chat. If am ever back in Bray again I definitely will return.

 

Shillelagh Bar, Bray/Stacks Sports Bar

Address: Quinsboro Rd, Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland

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Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhouseNot a bad place, good lot of cool sports and music memorabilia on the walls, had the horse racing on the go when I was there, good pint, friendly bar man, nice and relaxing place.

 

Boomerang Bar, Bray

Address: Quinsboro Rd, Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland

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Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhousePerhaps my favourite bar of the day. Lot of sport going on at the time on the many Tvs dotted around the pub. Was German and English football, horseracing, some gah…..the world is your oyster, fantastic. Good atmosphere in the pub. Lively crowd and all good fun. Nice pints too. Liked it.

 

Ardmore Bar, Bray

Address: R761, Bray, Co. Wicklow

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Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhouseThis place was buzzing, of all the pubs that we visited this had the biggest crowd in. Very jovial atmosphere, nice pints, good craic, has a nice décor going on, not a bad place with a good friendly vibe to it. Liked it.

 

Goldsmiths Pub, Bray

Address: 3 Quinsborough Rd, Bray, Co. Wicklow

FacebookBray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, Porterhouse

Final pre match pint was in Goldsmiths, a fancy looking pub from the outside anyway, decent atmosphere with a good sized crowd in, good pint, nothing to complain about!

 

bray wanderers

Bray Wanderers F.C.

Arena/Stadium: Carlisle Grounds
Manager: Mick Cooke
Location: Bray
Founded: 1942
Leagues: League of Ireland Premier Division

Club home page 

carlislegrounds@eircom.net

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Bray Wanderers F.C., who play in green and white and are otherwise known as the Seagulls, are a Wicklow team playing out of the Carlisle Grounds in the lovely seaside town of Bray. You will often find the club propping up the back end of the League of Ireland Premier Division for most of the football season, yet somehow always surviving relegation. But it’s not all doom and gloom, the club have won two FAI cups, in 1990 with a 3-0 win over non-league St Francis FC, and in 1999 over fellow perennial strugglers Finn Harps 2-1, in no large part to the talents of their legendary manager Pat Devlin, who guided them on both occasions to silverware, and who has managed the club on five separate occasions.

Bray made history with that 1999 win. The first team in the league of Ireland to win the cup and also to get relegated in the same season. Yeah, it’s hard to be a Bray Wanderers fan!

Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhousePlaying out of the small but quaint Carlisle Grounds (7,000/3,185 seated), the team were founded in 1922 but in its present incarnation it really all began in 1942. The Carlisle, is situated close to the Dart station, and is one of the coldest grounds in the LOI, its closeness to the seaside, an Irish sea making it cold throughout the year, Costa del Sol this aint. The ground is also used for international rugby league games and had a bit part as a “body double” for Croke Park, in the Michael Collins blockbuster, where the Bloody Sunday scene was shot.

Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhouseRecently there has been a lot of shenanigans going on as new directors and ex directors fight it out in the press and behind the scenes, and this was evidenced at the club last season (2015), where Bray had not one, nor two, but actually five managers (including caretaker manager) taking over first team affairs, before finally settling for Mick Cooke, the present man in charge. Despite this the team did relatively well, finishing a very respectable 8th, four places off the bottom, considered a success for the Wanderers!

Train watch: Bray is easy enough to get to via the DART, best thing is to go to Pearse Station or Connolly and work it out from there. The DART goes to Bray every 15 or 20 minutes.

By car: take the N11 from Dublin

Ok so what about the actual game we went to see?????

Bray Wanderers 1 – 3 Dundalk

Attendance: 1,702.

Good start from the champions Dundalk who looked like they were in second gear, going through the motions at times, didn’t really have too many problems dispatching a pretty disappointing Bray team.

Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhouseFor Dundalk Ciaran Kilduff scored within five minutes so Bray were already on the back foot early on. Kilduff got another in the first half while Ronan Finn finished it off late in the game with a shot outside the box that took a slight deflection. Finn looked lively all game.

Dean Kelly got one for Bray from a smart free, but that’s about all the Seagulls did in this game. Bray had a man sent off as well, for a silly tug,so that didn’t help matters.

Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, PorterhouseWas with the Dundalk support first half. Great fun, a bit of pyro which is always welcomed, and some good colourful chants as well. Went over to the Bray side for the second half, a bit quiet which was fair considering how the game was panning out.

Overall, decent enough game, Dundalk looked good, and a good first start to a new and hopefully exciting LOI season 2016.

Interview with Jake from the “Na Fánaithe”

Bray, Bray Wanderers, Na Fánaithe, League of Ireland Premier Division, Porterhouse

https://twitter.com/nfanaithe08

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My name is Jake

Well I was kind of dragged down here as a 5 year old

And I have been here ever since, I have been here 18 years for my sins

And I wouldn’t miss Bray, Friday or Saturday, its just something I do every week

And the group that you follow, the ultra-group, what’s it called?

Na Fánaithe, well we are kind of struggling a bit at the moment

The last couple of seasons numbers have been down

There is just not an awful lot going to the games anymore, like, so it’s kind of been difficult, we are not really active as much as we’d like to be

But look hopefully with time that will change

What brought you into the League of Ireland?

Well Growing up my da was a Rovers supporter, cause he is from Dundrum so the Milltown thing and when they left Milltown and all the trouble that went with them

He said he would never go back to see rovers again and

Him and my mother moved out here and its kind of this is the way its been ever since

He is a season ticket holder 20 odd years now himself, but he’d never go back to Rovers

What was the Best season since you followed them all those years?

It was probably…….see we are not used to success, so ’99 (Cup win) was good

Now I was only very young when it happened but to win something was obviously very good

Apart from that I don’t really remember…….Last year was probably the best, I know there was stuff off field, but the season we had…..Cup semi-final, mid table finish, we couldn’t complain too much, but that’s what we are kind of looking at most seasons

And 2016, what you think?

Squad of players, now I know tonight didn’t go to well, squad of players you’d be looking kind of higher mid table, pushing for European places and maybe a decent cup run………………….hopefully!

But you were playing the champions tonight though

Yeah, I know, I wouldn’t be too harsh, a lot of new players, you know gelling them and stuff

The champions who got a beaten, a good beaten last week (lost in Presidents Cup) so they were always going to bounce back and be a different side this week and we were just unfortunate that we were the team that were facing them

Bray player to look out for?

Two, two of them. Drew Lewis, striker, and Dylan Connolly, Winger, the two of them came on, but they obviously didn’t get a lot of time

But they are definitely two to look out for the rest of the season

Last year was a bit hectic off the pitch, is it a bit more solid this year?

To be honest, I wouldn’t say it was too hectic off the field

There is a group of people who used to be involved in the club and, obviously with new owners coming in and new people running the club, they didn’t like the changes that were been made, and all changes that were made there was a complaint so you know what it is with the way we went last year and the players we signed, it just sounds like they are a kind of bit jealous that they are not fully involved as much as they were

That’s my opinion, but I said it before, and I’d say it again, the right people are in charge of the club at the moment

Who would you consider rivals, what’s the club you hate?

There are a few!

For years we had this kind of rivalry going with Drogheda, but now its died down a lot, but we did kind of have a rivalry with Drogheda but I HATE UCD

Why?

I don’t know! We never really get a result against them, and they are probably the closest club to us, but I don’t like UCD!

Don’t like Rovers

Nobody likes rovers!

Don’t like rovers at all, actually can’t stand them!

But I prefer bohs any day of the week to Rovers

Don’t like Cork, either

Very few teams I do like!

Any team you do like, apart from bray?

I like Bohs to be honest, I do like Bohs

And to be fair, I actually have a soft spot for Galway, there always kind of there or there abouts you know, and its good to see them back up in the Premier Division

So what would be considered a good season, 2016? My last question!

A good season? An extended cup run, like last year and push on for Europe

Push on for Europe?

To be fair, listen, for the squad of players you got there we should be doing alright but hopefully, we will see!

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Bad Manners under the bridge, London

Bad Manners under the bridge, London

Bad Manners are an English ska band, from North London, fronted by the larger (extra-large?) than life Buster Bloodvessel. Big in the ‘80s, during a period when ska was popular, Bad Manners spent an amazing 111 weeks in the UK Singles Chart between 1980 and 1983 and the band had 15 hit singles in the U.K. with such classics as  “Lip Up Fatty”, ” Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu” (Yeah, really!), My Girl Lollipop”, “The Can Can”, “Special Brew” and “Walking In The Sunshine” and were up there with Madness, The Specials and The Selecter as the leading Ska band of the time.

Bad Manners under the bridge, LondonFormation:  A group of six school friends in 1976, from North London, formed the band. Fronted by Buster Bloodvessel (born Douglas Trendle), the band were mostly made up of self-taught musicians and a lot of energy. After becoming popular in the pubs and clubs of their native surrounds with their unique stage performances and huge leading man they quickly gained a following, which got them a record contract (without even recording a demo tape) with Magnet Records in 1980.

Where did the name come from? Buster Bloodvessel is a name taken from the bus conductor off the Beatles’ movie Magical Mystery Tour.

TV work Growing up in the 80’s, Bad Manners were a stable diet on TV, from Saturday morning Breakfast shows like Tiswas, Cheggars Plays Pop and the rest to evening appearances on, of course, Top of The Pops, over 30 in fact. Sometimes manic, always fun, the more noted appearances included that Can Can dress with the big fuck off Doc Martins, and on Tiswas with lots and lots of flying custard pies! The TV work and colourful performances gave them a chance to showcase their music to a huge audience and endeared Bad Manners to the British public.

Eventually they got banned from TOTP, when Buster, unannounced, painted his head red, which messed up the lightning and view from the TV screens. Not the worst thing in the world, but there you go.

Ban Manners and more specifically their eccentric front man, were always good fun to watch on TV. Buster with his really long tongue, big shiny bald head, even bigger belly, and always wearing something mad, was a sight to see

Bad Manners under the bridge, LondonIn 1985 Buster mooned (indecent exposure) the POPE! Yeah you read that right! In Italy, for the San Remo Festival, wanting to outdo Barry White, who was just coming off stage, and shock the crowd, Buster dropped his pants, and his rather large and not that hard to miss bum was picked up live on state TV. Unfortunately for Buster this festival was a favourite of his Holiness Pope John Paul who was watching the whole spectacle back in the Vatican. This resulted in a lifetime ban from Italian TV, and perhaps eternal damnation in the next life as well.

Buster is a big man with big ideas…….so it was only natural that if he was to have a Hotel called “Fatty Towers” for big people, it makes perfect sense (I Guess!). The hotel located in Margate, opened in 1996, and catered for the larger clientele, or at least those with huge appetites, had massive beds and baths, held annual Belly of the Year contests, and more importantly had extra-large food portions on its menus. Apparently the St John’s Ambulance were on speed dial in the event of misfortune!

Alas the venture didn’t last, as touring whilst running a hotel was too demanding, and Fatty Towers closed in 1998.

The legend of Buster’s eating habits…..eating 28 Big Macs, had ate a shark and once on the Isle of Wight ate 15 lobsters. So Buster was always a fat bastard, but when his weight topped 31 stone (197kg) and he collapsed during a show, then things had to change as his life was clearly in danger. Buster underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2004 and now he weighs in at a very respectful 13 stone. He lost roughly 18 stone (114kg) in just over 10 months, which is about the size of many a man! This new lease of life now means that the Hackney-born crooner has even more energy to bounce around the stage, Lip Up Fatty no more!

Bad Manners under the bridge, LondonTouring Bad Manners are a hardworking band, permanently gigging which takes them all over the world, from as far afield as Japan, Australia and New Zealand, the Americas, all round Europe, and the length and breadth of Britain. Yet despite the years the band still packs out venues, albeit small sized venues such as leisure centres, pubs, theatres, festivals.

To really appreciate Bad Manners you really have to experience them live. Their live concerts are legendary. A lot of sweaty dancing will be involved, a huge amount of fun, and a decent slice of good time Ska. This is one reason why the band still gig and are still popular even after all these years…..nights full of skanking

Seeing them for the first time, in Under the Bridge, London, I can definitely confirm that they are a great live act. Brilliant, and without a shadow of a doubt one of the best gigs I have ever attended. Great fun, friendly crowd, and a good set that was well over an hour where by the end everyone was hopping around like crazy. Top stuff…….

 

Under The Bridge

Address: Stamford Bridge | Fulham Road, London SW6 1HS, England

http://underthebridge.co.uk/

The concert was set in Under the Bridge, a very fancy purpose-built music venue in west London, just under Chelsea football club’s stadium, Stamford Bridge, hence the name!

The place holds about 500 people, and cost Mr. Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, a cool £20 million to refurbish what was the Purple nightclub

I have to say the venue was fantastic, really was.

Bad Manners under the bridge, LondonThe band were illuminated with great bright LED lightening, the sound was perfect, and it was dead easy to get a view no matter where you were in the room, as the stage was raised, no looking between people’s heads and awkward glances over peoples shoulders. Also plenty of room to sit, lots of bar stools around, toilets impeccable, everywhere all clean and tidy. Perfectly designed, and very classy, but not in anyway pretentious.

As for the workforce, friendly door security, and the bar staff were ultra-friendly, chatty and quick to get your order.

The Sheephaven Bay

                                 Address: 2-3 Mornington Street, Camden, London NW1 7QD

                   http://www.sheephavenbaycamden.co.uk/

Sheephaven BayMaking my way from the tube stop on Mornington Crescent, and just off Camden Town High Street, I went to meet a few old friends at The Sheephaven Bay, a good Irish style back street boozer. I have had beers in this pub before, always has a cracking atmosphere, feels homely, and even though it’s an Irish pub, it’s definitely not an “Oirish” pub, this is the real deal, warmth and charm, and none of your “O’Neills” plastic shite here!

Plenty of space, good beer on tap, lots of banter, and football on the box, but not so loud that you can’t hear yourself think……..great pub to spend a few hours in. Recommended.

 

Zeitgeist at the Jolly Gardeners

49-51 Black Prince Road, Lambeth, London SE11 6AB, England

Southwark, Vauxhall

http://zeitgeist-london.com/gastropub/

Was meeting a friend here who is part of the whole London St Pauli thing, and as this bar is German run and is the place to see all German national games and Bundesliga I and II games, we decided to meet here.

Bad Manners under the bridge, LondonHave to say I completely missed it at first as it still retains the old name of the previous pub, “The Jolly Gardeners”, with “Zeitgeist” written in much smaller signage, so was very easy to pass. Think it’s officially called “The Zeitgeist at the Jolly Gardeners”. Clever, eh? Hmmm! This Victorian pub is just behind Lambeth Bridge and about 10 minutes from Vauxhall station. It was what looked like an old style British boozer on the corner of the street.

Inside though there is a Germanic feel to the bar, German flags, and a range of authentic German beers (or biers) on draught and in bottle covering most styles, from Warsteiner, Paulaner, Jever, Kolsch. Bitburger, Holstein, Krombacher, etc. Food is also available, schnitzels and sausages and all the rest. The bar’s popular with German expats, who gather to watch Bundesliga matches on two big screens.

Bad Manners under the bridge, LondonService was on the slow side, very slow, snail’s pace. Average time waiting for beer was about 20 minutes. Happened to loads of customers, ended up as a running joke, was actually quite funny how bad it was. One St Pauli fan had enough, got up and left!! Bar staff didn’t seem too bothered about all the thirsty customers, not rude or anything just they looked a bit stoned to be honest or perhaps that’s a German look? They looked a bit clueless and didn’t seem to be upto the job. I do know that they would be out on their ear if this was in an Irish bar, can’t be that slow when people need a drink!

Not much of an atmosphere either in the bar, bit dull, but to be fair St Pauli were getting beaten so I guess that put a dampener on things.  Either way won’t be going to this scheisse hole again. One of the worst………..


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Dublin beer crawl, part two

Dublin beer crawl, part two.

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Ireland!

Plan was to head up to the city for the biggest Dublin derby of the year between Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers, and have a day out about town sampling the pubs of Dublin. This time round without the Guinness. Drinking mostly Smithwicks, and for all you beer snobs, it’s a beer crawl not a craft beer tasting session, so get over it!

                                                           The Ha’penny Bridge Inn                                                                                               42 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland                     https://www.facebook.com/HaPennyBridgeInn

 The Ha'penny Bridge Inn, Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

In the Ha’penny

Got off the bus just near O Connell Street, so we (me and the brother) decided to head for our first pint, and an early one at that, at The Ha’penny Bridge Inn, just across the Liffey from the Ha’penny Bridge (imagine that!). This popular bar in Dublin is a good place for comedy and live music. It has comedy nights a few times a week, with the odd live mike thrown in now and again, and it’s where you can see well known and up and coming comedians try out their new material. And the music they have on offer isn’t just your standard Irish pub fair, bluegrass and blues can often be heard upstairs on a cold wet Dublin night.

The bar is just around the corner from Temple bar, but it’s cheaper (around €5 for a pint) and probably better than anything on that tourist blighted area. Quieter and with a mostly local clientele, this bar is a good place to sit down and have a friendly chat, without any music blaring off a radio, or sports on the box turned to the max.

 The Ha'penny Bridge Inn, Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Just over the Liffey

The bar man/owner/manager “Mick” is a bit of a legend, with his piercing wit and comic outbursts. For people that are not used to his one-liners and banter they might be a little unnerved by his directness, but he is a funny fecker, and chatty to boot. It’s always good sport watching a lost tourist wander in trying to figure out if they were insulted by the barman, or not! Once my brother, not a regular, walked into the bar one morning, and without a word Mick threw him the keys and told him to open up the jacks (toilets) for the customers! He is definitely a character. But don’t be put off by that description, Mick, the bar staff and the regulars are all very welcoming, and it’s very easy to strike up a good chat in this old style Dublin boozer. The rumour is that Mick might be the inspiration behind a famous bar man off a very popular comedy show on RTE, an Irish TV station. Perhaps, or so the story goes!

Harp lager, Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Pint no.1

The Guinness is pretty good in this place as to be expected with the Brewery only up the road, but I wanted to lay off the black stuff, so I went for a pint of Harp, since it was such a long time I had seen that drink on tap!

Sitting down with the brother, ready to enjoy our drinks, it wasn’t long before we were joined by some good company. Met a lad from Cork, who was up for the Hurling match the previous day. They lost to Tipperary, quite heavily it has to be said. Sure enough Mick got involved, telling us he was a Tipp man, and needless to say that’s when the friendly ribbing started. All good fun, and a perfect way to start the beer crawl. Good pint in good company, talking about sport, and it was only about 12 in the day. Can’t ask for much more in life than that!

Unfortunately we couldn’t hang around, and off we went to collect the tickets for the game.

 

                                                                  Casa Rebelde                                                                                                                                               4 fownes street Upper, Dublin,                                                     http://casarebelde.com/

Casa Rebelde, Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Casa Rebelde

Casa Rebelde, Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Prized shirt

Was collecting my tickets from this football store in Temple Bar. Could have bought them at the game but wanted to show the brother this shop. Casa Rebelde stock all sorts of football t shirts and jerseys, mostly with a political or ultra-slant. It’s the kind of shop if I ever had a decent wedge of money I could spend a packet in here. Was particularly impressed with the tees for Dead Man’s Shoes, awesome!
The owner was friendly yet refused to sell me the signed Diego jersey on the wall. Bastard!

 

                                                                         Quays Bar                                                                                                                                                           Temple Bar                                                                                                                                                         Dublin 2                                                                                          https://www.facebook.com/quaysbartemplebar?fref=ts

 Quays Bar , Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Quays Bar

 Quays Bar , Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Retro

 Quays Bar , Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Pint no.2

After the shop was dying for a pish so went straight to the Quays. With its central location and very classic exterior it was hard not to go into this bar. Noted the standard toilet setting that all good bars seem to have, and was ready for another drink. Quays Bar in the heart of Dublin’s famous Temple Bar is a bit of a touristy bar, but it does offer great live traditional music every day.

As it was still relatively early there was very few customers in the bar, so I can’t really write up too much about the bar. Had a decent pint and some small chat with the bar man. I chided him for including David Costa in his fantasy football team, how wrong was that! I drank a pint of Smithwicks, which as you can see from the photo, was great.

 

 

                                                                   The Dawson Lounge                                                                                                                                        25 Dawson St,                                                                                                                                                         Dublin 2                                                                                                     https://www.facebook.com/TheDawsonLounge

The Dawson Lounge , Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Dublin’s smallest

Next up was the Dawson Lounge, a pub the brother wanted to show me, which was situated just around the corner from St Stephens Green.  Apparently it’s the smallest pub in Ireland, so yeah I had to see this small boozer.  It was very easy to pass by, in fact we did! It has a very small entrance with a stairs that leads down to the dimly lit basement pub.  The staff said that when full to capacity it can hold about 50 to 60 people, at maximum squash! The bar was busy for that time of the day, but it was surprisingly easy to find a seat and some leg room, maybe we Irish are tiny bastards?

The Dawson Lounge , Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Pint no.3

Had a Smithwicks, which was fine, and enjoyed the bar room atmosphere which was lovely and cosy. I definitely will try and return for a cold wintry day as I can imagine how warm it would be snuggled up sipping a nice hot whisky as it snows outside. The novelty factor is very enticing, definitely a bar I would love to show to a foreign friend visiting Dublin for a few days, as it’s a fun bar to check out.

The only problem I had with the bar was its so small that you can overhear what others are saying. No problem for me that talks shite, but unfortunately I had to hear the conversation going on beside me which was all about Shopping and “My course in Trinity”. A little off putting, but that’s the luck of the draw I guess.

 

                                                         Madigan’s                                                                                                                                                          4 Lower Abbey Street,                                                                                                                                         Dublin 1                                          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Madigans-Abbey-St-Dublin/187768177973132?fref=ts

Madigans, Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Madigans

Always get my scruffy hair cut in Dublin, in Dobro Polski on Talbot Street to be exact. The Polish give cheap haircuts that are quick, easy and don’t mess around, simples. So we had to leave the Southside and head across O Connell bridge and make our way off too Talbot Street.

 Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Pint no.4

But we decided to try a quick pint in Madigan’s on Lower Abbey Street, just across from the Luas stop, to break up our walk.  The pub appears lovely from the outside, a real old fashioned bar, and inside it has the hallmarks of a decent looking boozer. The pub was very quiet, but perhaps that is what trade is like off O Connell Street on a lazy Monday afternoon. Madigan’s do good food, but we decided to have another pint of Smithwicks and stave off the food for another while. Its perfect location means that it’s a good bar for a pit stop, a quick pint after a day’s shopping or whatever.  Nothing really to rate as there was no atmosphere or chat, but the pint was good, service fine, and batteries refreshed.

 

                                                                 Mother Kelly’s                                                                                                                                                    74 Talbot St,                                                                                                                                                           Dublin 1                             https://www.facebook.com/pages/mother-kellys-talbot-street/116806058354122?fref=ts

Mother Kelly's, Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Ma Kelly’s

 Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Pint no.5

Got my hair cut in Talbot Street, took a little bit too much off, but heh at least it will do me for a few months! Met the brother who was waiting in the nearby Mother Kelly’s, a bar I had never drank in before, not many of them left, eh! Tired, sat down and enjoyed another good pint of Smithwicks, in a small but lovely looking pub. Didn’t get to chat to anyone but sensed that a good atmosphere was building up. A decent crowd was present, the bar staff were extremely friendly, and I’d say if we had stayed we would have met a few interesting characters no doubt. Really enjoyed my pint and time in Mother Kelly’s and will definitely be back in this boozer next time I’m up for drinks in Dublin. A nice little boozer in the heart of Talbot Street, recommended.

 

                                                                   J and M Cleary                                                                                                                                              36 Amiens Street                                                                      Dublin 1

 J and M Cleary , Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

J and M Cleary

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

The Big Fella

For our next drink we went to J and M Cleary’s just under the railway bridge to Connolly Station on Amiens Street. One of my favourite old time Dublin boozers, always like to pop into this bar just so I can ogle at all the cool old style photos and pictures on the wall, mostly commemorating Irelands 1916 Rising and War of Independence.  Apparently a few of the people on the photos actually used to drink in this pub too!  And I was also told that the pub was used a few times as a bar room setting in the movie Michael Collins.

Apart from all that, the pub had a good friendly atmosphere with some interesting characters in attendance, the bar staff were up for a good chat, and the pint of Smithwicks I had was top stuff! Overall a good experience and definitely a pub that one could easily while away a good few hours in. Recommended.

 

                                                                         Mullets                                                                                                                                                        45 Amiens Street,                                                                 Dublin 1

 Mullets , Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Mullets Bar

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Not bad!

Just down the road from Cleary’s we ventured into Mullets bar. From the outside there seemed to be a lot of noise coming from the pub. Sure enough the place was pretty busy, with a rather boisterous atmosphere building up. Even though I used to live up the road in Fairview I never drank in this bar before.  No particular reason but never really noticed it before, which sounds a bit mad when I think about it.  This is where we started to see the Tuborg promotions, which we would subsequently encounter a lot from there on in.  But we stuck to the pints of Smithwicks, which were nice and cold. The bar has a definite republican leaning and that could be seen all over the walls, with an awesome collection of Bodhrans adorned all around the pub.  The two country lads had to endure a bit of Dublin wit but we are well able for that kind of “banter”. A   decent pub and will definitely be back again for a longer stay in the future.

 

                                                                  Lloyds                                                                                                                                                              46 Amiens St,                                                                                                                                                          Dublin 1                                        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lloyds-Bar-Lounge/186269958152548?fref=ts

Lloyds, Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Lloyds

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

CCTV

Didn’t have to walk too far to get to the next pub, Lloyds is right beside Mullets bar. They should really knock the adjacent wall and have a walk through! Lloyds is a family run pub that dates all the way back to 1893 and has a fairly lively atmosphere going on at all times of the day. The horse racing was one so we decided to have a few bets, all losers of course, but good fun with a nice pint of Smithwicks, friendly staff, and some good company. Funny to see the CCTV camera at the bar, but I guess this part of Dublin can get hairy at times, a fatal stabbing just up the road the previous night! Not a bad old pub, and one to return to in the near future.

 

                                                           Molloy’s Bar                                                                                                                                                  Talbot Street,                                                                                                                                                       Dublin 1                                                                                                                     https://www.facebook.com/pages/Molloys-Talbot-Street-Dublin-1/124000427635583

Molloy’s Bar, Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Molloy’s Bar Side Entrance

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Food!

We were getting hungry at this stage. Eight beers and not a bit too eat, so we decided to go back on ourselves and head over to Malloy’s Bar on Talbot Street, in at the side door to where they serve their food.

Now I already had reviewed Molloy’s bar before, in my ten pints of Guinness ten pubs Dublin beer crawl, but I know they have good food and it was handy for a pit stop.  Just to say that I like this pub: near the bookies, always a decent lively atmosphere, good pints and nice food. Did the business.

Previous review here>

 

                                                                   O’Reilly’s Bros, ( The Chancery Inn)                                                                                                                                              Inns Quay                                                                             Dublin 7

O Reilly's, Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

O Reilly’s

Pint no.6

Pint no.10

As we were heading back into the city I really fancied a pint in O’Reillys Bros bar near Smithfield. The bar is well known as one of the few remaining bars left in Dublin that has a license to open at six in the morning. I have drank it in from six before, after an all-nighter, and it’s a pretty cool experience to be drunk at the same time as so many are heading off to work in the morning. It’s a decent old style boozer, rough and ready, with some real characters in attendance. Had a pretty good pint of Smithwicks, and listened to some classic music off their jukebox. I like this bar, always great fun in it, and one I definitely would recommend for people who want to start an early bar crawl in the city. Recommended.

 

                                                                      The Celt Pub                                                                                                                                                    81 Talbot St,                                                                                                                                                           Dublin                                                                                      

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

The Celt

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Pint no.11

We ended up next back up to Talbot Street for now the third time, as we got a call from a few people who were heading to the game who were drinking in The Celt Bar. I was never in this bar before as I figured it was a touristy kind of bar what with its fancy looking menu and its cheesy enough name. But to be fair it does have a very good reputation and has music seven times a week on show. Unfortunately no music was on when we arrived but the bar was heaving at the seams, which goes to show you that it must be a decent pub considering it was a lazy Monday afternoon.  The Smithwicks was fine, and the service friendly, but can’t really rate the bar as it was so packed and we were beginning to notice that the game was fast approaching. But I made a mental note to return to this bar someday in the future just to experience the live music and ambiance that everyone raves about. Oh yeah, they also have two parrots at the back of the bar on watch! As we were about to head out the door, and make our way to Dalymount Park for the match, we were told that the game was off, but no way did we believe it, surely it was more of this “Dublin wit” that we heard throughout the day!

The Game

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Dalymount in sight

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Postponed!

But it was true. At the time we had no idea why. I figured it might be some kind of trouble as this game does have a bite to it, a big Dublin derby with a lot of headers always around for a scrap, and the area was absolutely teeming with filth. After mulling about with supporters outside we heard that the real reason it was called off was due to a failed late pitch inspection. WTF!!! After heading up for the day especially with this match in mind, I was a little peeved at the late notice. Maybe I should have stayed the day in The Ha’penny Bridge Inn all along. But that’s life, especially life in the badly run League of Ireland. Not sure if it was the correct decision, but shame on Bohemians FC for not making the pitch playable despite many warnings the week beforehand.

http://extratime.ie/newsdesk/articles/12850/bohs-v-shamrock-rovers-called-off-due-to-unplayable-pitch—twitter-reacts/

 

                                                     The Bohemian (McGeoughs)                                                                                                                       66 Phibsboro Rd Phibsboro,                                                                   Dublin 7

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Lunch

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

McGeoughs

So nothing was to be done only head to the Bohemians bar not far from the ground. The Bohemian bar is nearly as old as Dalymount Park, if not older. It hasn’t changed a whole lot in those 100 years or more with its distinct old style feel to it. A decent boozer with a nice pint of Smithwicks, with a good friendly crowd present despite the postponed game.  Had a very deep and long conversation with what looked like two of Dublin’s biggest Cliff Richard fans. They were sticking by their hero, lock him up I say! Good banter though!

Dublin, beer, drinking, Guinness, beer crawl, pub, Craic, Smithwicks, drunk, irish wit, craft beers

Tuborg, finally!

After seeing so many promos for Tuborg all over town and in a lot of the bars we had seen I decided to try the damn thing. It was fine I guess, bit strong, but hard to say as it was drank a little rushed. At this stage we were both very tired, a long day, a lot of walking, not much to eat but a good bit to drink. After getting a bit of food in a local chipper we decided to start the long trek to the bus station.

 

                                                                  The Brew Dock                                                                                                                                                     Amiens Street                                                                                                                                                           Dublin 1                                                                                         https://www.facebook.com/thebrewdock?fref=ts

Just across from the bus station is The Brew Dock which used to be known as Kate’s Cottage. The old rustic style décor is more or less the same as the old bar, but the beers on tap and on offer are totally different. Gone is the Guinness, the Smithwicks, the Bud, and all the mass produced beer and in its place is some of the finest craft beers you can find in the capital city. Their selection is boundless, 21 taps, with craft beers from both Ireland and the USA. They have a sign outside that reads “No crap on tap”. Anyway it’s a handy pub for a pint before heading home, and we changed our beers again. No Smithwicks this time round so we went for Boston’s finest, a pint of Samuel Adams. A decent pint and it was refreshing to be in a nice relaxed bar with no loud music or a TV as an unnecessary distraction. Now Kate Cottage’s was a good pub that was relatively popular, so it’s a big step for The Brew Dock to set up a trendy craft beer pub this side of the town.  I am guessing that they are hoping to attract a lot of attention from the office types that work in the nearby Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC). But that’s the thing, I found the atmosphere a little dead to be honest. Nice and relaxed and calming, but not really a place that you would meet someone new, have the “craic”, or  a place with some serious true Dublin character.  A little bit contrived, but heh these places are supposedly popular nowadays so it remains to be seen if it works out for them in the long run. I would like to have a good taste of all those exciting looking beers though! Some day!

 

So overall a good day of drinking in the capital city. Met some interesting people, and had a lot to drink. Despite my drinking tally in double figures, I wasn’t too bad, and I’m already looking forward to doing a part three sometime around Christmas or early next year!! Bring it on!

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Mongolia and Irish bars

Mongolia and Irish bars!

Mongolia and Ireland

Mongolia and Ireland

I spent about a year living and working in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. It was a great year of fun and good times. Mongolians are a jolly bunch, lively and friendly. One thing that did stand out was the amount of Irish (“Oirish”) pubs in the city. I counted just under 20, but was assured that the real figure was close to 40. I can’t really explain why there are so many Irish pubs in the city. I figured some Mongolian Googled the words “good bars” and the search engine came up with “Irish pubs”. So perhaps Mongolians think that “Irish” actually means “decent pub”. I say that as I felt a lot of Mongolians really didn’t know much about Ireland.

Another factor could be that during Ireland’s mini economic boom, the “Celtic Tiger”, many Mongolians got work permits to go and work in Ireland, as it was easier than getting a visa for the UK. As the Irish economy faltered a few years after, the Mongolians without work returned and quite a few of them started opening Irish themed bars. I did meet an awful lot of Mongolians with rather cool Irish accents.

Either way most of the Irish bars in UB were mostly a load of rubbish, as most “Oirish” pubs are. (Read here for my opinions on Irish bars in general). Overpriced, teeming with foreigners, and lacking in soul and some real Irish spirit. Having said that, Ulaanbaatar’s night life is pretty damn good and if you are prepared to hang out with the locals you will have a mad time. For a country with just over 2.5 million people there sure are a lot of decent pubs, clubs and restaurants going around.

Grand Khaan

Grand Khaan

The biggest Irish bar was The Grand Khaan Irish Pub, a good place for food, with great service, and where all the hot shots of the city hang out. A bit expensive and really doesn’t offer much in terms of decent entertainment, but not that bad for a quiet drink and a chat in the day time.

Dublin Irish bar

Dublin Irish bar

My favourite Irish bar was The Dublin Irish Pub, which for an “Oirish bar” wasn’t too bad. They say they were the first Irish bar in the city, but truth be told the city still has to have a real authentic Irish pub. I was a regular customer there and managed to get a tab running, which is always a bonus. Had decent food, good music on the jukebox, had a chilled out atmosphere and sometimes on special nights an impromptu music session would get going. The only negative was the bar staff had terrible English and were a bit dim.

Of course some of the bars do have Guinness, which isn’t too bad in all fairness. But I usually stuck to Tiger beer or the local brew Chinggis Beer, much cheaper than overpriced western styled beers.Mongolia and Irish bars!
Anyway I will return someday to UB as I loved the people of Mongolia, tough people but full of friendship and kindness.

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Dublin bar crawl. Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs

Dublin bar crawl. Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs

Dublin bar crawl. Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs

Temple Bar prices

Dublin is a great drinking city, we all know that. You won’t walk too far without passing a top quality boozer, serving the best Guinness in the world. Many tourists head straight to the Southside of the Liffey over to the Temple Bar area to experience overpriced drinks and watered down “craic”. To be fair Temple Bar isn’t as bad as many Irish make it out to be. There are some decent pubs in the area and there can be wild fun to be had late at night, but by god it’s pricey and has an overabundance of stupid cunts in a very small sized area. I prefer the Northside, it has more character, better pubs, and decent priced booze. Ok it might get a little hairy at times, but heh that’s half the fun, right?

Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

The plan: Guinness, and lots of it!

Arrived very early into Dublin from a cheap Ryanair flight, planning on heading to an evening football match in the FAI Cup first round. The match was between Belgrove and Drumcondra to be played out in the grounds of Dublin’s most famous schoolboy club, Home Farm, and wasn’t kicking off until 7.45p.m. I had ages of time to kill so I decided, after a nice stroll along O Connell Street, to have 10 pint of Guinness in ten top drinking establishments on the way to the game. But in Ireland the pubs don’t serve alcohol until 11.30 a.m. which is fecking ridiculous and unless you want to head to some early morning bars near Smithfield then you will have to wait.

 

Graingers Bar
51 Talbot Street, Dublin, Ireland
https://www.facebook.com/GraingersBar

Graingers Bar, Talbot Street, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Graingers Bar, Talbot Street

After another few strolls around the centre of Dublin, eventually the time came to drink and I was hungry and needed to fill the belly, and there really is only one pub I know that serves great food with a good pint in a nice relaxed atmosphere. Graingers Bar on Talbot Street. Near both the national bus and train Station this bar always has good food on offer. Great friendly service and a good way to start my Guinness bar crawl. In fact the Guinness was so good here it was very tempting to go all out and have a few, but I didn’t and just had the one. One of my favourite bars for a quiet pint and some food. Recommended.

Graingers Bar on Talbot Street, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Graingers, good food, great Guinness

Molloy’s bar
Talbot street Dublin
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Molloys-Talbot-Street-Dublin-1/124000427635583

Molloy’s Bar, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Molloy’s Bar

Pint number two was to be in another one of my old favourites, Molloy’s Bar, just a few steps down from Grainger’s, also on Talbot Street. This bar has a good lively atmosphere and is close to two betting shops. The pint was great, and had a good time just relaxing, reading the paper, checking my (losing) bets and taking it all in. Usually the bar staff are top notch in this place but on the day I was there they had an English woman at the counter and she was a right fecking eejit (fool). Think she was trying too hard with her “banter”. But anyway, Molloy’s, always worth a few pints and great pub for gambling and drinking. Recommended.

Molloy's bar Talbot street Dublin, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

A pint of plain

Briodys
97 Marlborough Street
Dublin 1

Briody's, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Briody’s

Briody's, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

A good pointer

For my third pint I headed up to Marlborough Street, to have a pint in Briody’s, a very small pub right beside a bookies. Good pint, relaxing place to have a beer, small and comfortable. One thing that is common with a lot of these decent pubs is the look of the toilet area. Cheap old fashioned steel sheeting always means its a decent boozer. That’s always a given.

Briody's, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Relaxation therapy

Sean O Casey’s
                                                                    Marlborough Street Dublin 1                                                                               https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sean-OCaseys/316258218425790

Sean O Casey’s, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Sean O Casey’s, top class Dublin pub

Fourth pint was also on Marlborough Street in Sean O Casey’s on the corner. Love this pub. Think the owners are from Kerry, old folk and really friendly. Good pub for watching sport, and they generally will show any kind of sport if asked nicely. Good pint (do I really have to keep mentioning this, as all pints of Guinness in Dublin are great!?), good bar chat, and one of my favourite pubs in the city. Strongly recommended.

Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

A lovely pint!

Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Lovely!

 

 

 

       

 

Hop House/The Shakespeare Korean Pub
160-161 Parnell Street
Dublin 1
https://www.facebook.com/hophousekimchi/page_map

 Next I headed up to Parnell Street at the end of O’Connell Street, an area with a lot of decent boozers and good for a spot of food. Originally planned on having a pint in the Hop House/The Shakespeare Korean Pub, which is a weird Korean restaurant/old man’s Irish pub combo. It sounds strange but it really works well and it is the best of both worlds, good food washed down with good beer. But the best thing is that it has still retained a lot of the pubs old clientele which is great. But unfortunately it was not opened when I was about, which was a damn shame.

O’Reilly’s
Parnell Street Dublin 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YdadUVT6E0

O'Reilly's on Parnell Street, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

O’Reilly’s, Parnell Street.

On my fifth pint I was in O’Reilly’s on Parnell Street. A very lively pub in the inner city of Dublin. While I was there three separate fights were going on in and around the bar, nothing too serious but it was midday and the pub was heaving. Great pub for the chat and the banter, and right beside a betting shop and some of Dublin best Chinese restaurants, you can’t go too wrong here. Many the time I spent time in this pub whiling away the hours before I headed home on the train. Has a small reputation but I like it. Recommended, especially if you like horse racing.

O'Reilly's on Parnell Street, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

O’Reilly’s

Bermingham’s
111 Lower Dorset Street
Dublin 1
http://bigmacandwhys.wordpress.com/tag/berminghams-dorset-street/

After Parnell Street I ventured up to Dorset Street to see if I could find Bermingham’s, an old style Dublin pub, that hasn’t changed since the time of dawn. Cracking pub with good banter and even better pints. But imagine my horror to see that the bar has closed and is not open anymore. It seems the owner passed away last year (Dec, 2013) and with it the closing of one of Dublin’s finest boozers. A pity. RIP

Bermingham’s, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Bermingham’s, RIP

Mayes Pub
Dorset Street Upper
Dublin 1

Mayes Pub on Dorset Street, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Mayes Pub, Dorset Street

So I headed over to Mayes Pub also on Dorset Street with its distinctive signage and good central location. First time drinking here, and a good pint and good banter, not a bad pub and was good to get the break and rest the feet after wandering around looking for a non-existent Bermingham’s.

Mayes Pub on Dorset Street, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Mayes Pub

The Auld Triangle
29 Dorset Street Lower
Dublin 1

The Auld Triangle, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

The Auld Triangle

For my 7th pint I went into The Auld Triangle, a well-known Republican bar with a H Block mural featuring on its walls. Not a bad pub, good pint, good banter, some rebel music on the jukebox and a nice place to relax and take a breather as I was getting a bit tired with all the walking around and betting and drinking. Just as I was finishing the pint some of the regulars started an old sing a long, was a pity I had to go, but time was of the essence.

The Auld Triangle, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

A republican pint

                                                                       Quinns                                                                                                                                                         42 Drumcondra Road Lower, Dublin 9, Ireland                                                         https://www.facebook.com/quinnsbardrumcondra

Quinns in Drumcondra, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Quinns, Drumcondra,

8th pint was had in Quinns in Drumcondra, a good lively bar, a well known and popular bar which is always busy when there is a GAA game nearby in Croke Park. I like this bar, good friendly staff and a good pint. Good pub and much better than the nearby Fagan’s a shithole which is to be avoided. Recommended, especially if attending a game at Croker. Can get busy at night time, and is a student favourite (but don’t let that put you off!).

Quinns in Drumcondra, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Quinns

Millmount House
Drumcondra rd.
Dublin, Ireland

Millmount House, in Drumcondra, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Millmount House, Drumcondra,

Millmount House, also in Drumcondra, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Millmount House, great for a game of pool

9th pint was in the Millmount House, also in Drumcondra. A good bar for a quiet drink in the day and a game of pool and a decent pint. Good crowd at the bar, friendly staff and good Guinness. One of my favourite bars this side of Dublin. At night time it gets pretty lively, and on occasions has some good live music. Recommended.

Millmount House, also in Drumcondra, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Millmount House

Home Farm Whitehall
97a Swords Road,
Whitehall,
Dublin 9
https://www.facebook.com/groups/264094774171/?fref=ts

Finally managed to walk up to Home Farm Football Club for the match and had my final pint at half time in the clubhouse. Good banter at the game, and a very friendly and chatty bar staff. Had a nice pint, probably had more than one but can’t remember as I was just glad to have arrived at my final destination. Was completely knackered after all the walking, but was glad to get some football in my itinerary. Belgrove won one nil by the way!

Home Farm Football Club, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Home Farm Football Club

Home Farm Football Club, Dublin bar crawl, Ten pints of Guinness, ten pubs, Irish bars

Football and Beer

So after my ten pints ten pubs I walked back to the Bus Station near Connolly and got my late bus home to the midlands, happy with my achievement but tired. All of the pubs on my crawl were decent boozers, the Guinness was top notch in all the pubs (seriously it would have to be in Dublin!), and all the bars were enjoyable in their own unique ways. Must do this again but with a different ten! Got to love Dublin!

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St Patrick's Day Shenanigans. The story behind St Patrick's day

St Patrick’s Day Shenanigans

St Patrick’s Day Shenanigans

St Patrick's Day Shenanigans. The story behind St Patrick's day

Saint Pat

March 17th every year, millions of people wear the green, hold big parades and drink bucket loads of beer, all in the name of an old Irish saint. But why? What is the history of this much loved holiday, and why do we celebrate it in all corners of the world with shamrocks and alcohol?

While many people mainly use the day as a justification to drink a countless quantity of booze, it is still—first and foremost—a day to celebrate Irish heritage and culture.

Let’s go over some of the reason why we celebrate paddies day and look a little closer into the myth and realities of St. Patrick.

Who was St. Patrick?

St. Patrick is well known for being the patron saint of Ireland and having a day named for him that most of the world uses as an excuse to get incredibly drunk. However, contrary to popular belief, St. Patrick was not actually Irish! St. Patrick was the son of Romans who were living in Britain, around 385AD. As a boy of 14 he was kidnapped and taken as a slave to Ireland where he spent six years herding sheep. He returned to Ireland in his 30s as a missionary among the Celtic pagans. Rather than replacing pagan Irish rituals, he incorporated them into his teachings, hence the shamrock. (Halloween is another Irish festival that we all know and love so well)

St Patrick's Day Shenanigans. The story behind St Patrick's day

Shamrocks

The shamrock is the traditional symbol because St. Patrick used it to explain the connection between the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit (the Trinity) in the Christian religion. It is the symbol of Ireland, and wearing and displaying shamrocks has become a widespread practice on St. Patrick’s Day.

Why green?

Wearing green is said to commemorate St Patrick’s use of the shamrock – although blue was the original colour of his vestments. But green is associated with St. Patrick’s Day because it is the colour of spring. And the ancient Irish used to wear green to show their love for the harvest gods and the advent of spring. That and the fact Ireland is a very green country and shamrocks are green! Also the wearing of the green differentiated the Irish from the British.

You don’t have to wear green clothes on St. Patrick’s Day, a sprig of shamrock on your clothing can do.

Parades and celebration?

St Patrick's Day Shenanigans. The story behind St Patrick's day

St. Patrick Day Parade

Well you might not have noticed but there are a lot of Irish everywhere, that and all the Irish bars all over the place. The Irish are a sentimental bunch and when abroad they do tend to miss the old country. There are currently more Irish living outside of the island than on it – a lot more. There are an estimated 100 million people of Irish descent living in places as diverse as the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. More than 36 million Americans claim Irish ancestry. So celebrating St. Paddy’s day is a way to celebrate Ireland. Many cities around the world hold parades in honour of the holiday. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1737. The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the largest parade in the world. The world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in the Irish village of Dripsey. It lasts only 100 yards, covering the distance between the village’s two pubs.

And the 17th of March is when St Patrick died, supposedly!

The snake?

One of his most famous miracles attributed to St. P was the driving of serpents out of Ireland. However, evidence suggests post-glacial Ireland never had any snakes in the first place. That’s a pity!

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