herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Man's 'derelict pub crawl' takes in 39 closed bars

The Welcome Inn, Parnell St
The Welcome Inn, Parnell St

DOCUMENTING Dublin's derelict pubs is thirsty work, according to the only man who could have been charged with the task.

John Geraghty, the man behind the city's most successful boozeblog Publin, took it upon himself to take a whistle-stop door of Dublin's closed down drinking spots.

"You hear about pub closures all the time, but you are inclined to think that they are all rural," he said when asked about his decision to take on what could be described as the anti-pub crawl.

"I hadn't realised just how many there were," he added.

Enthusiast

Staying within city walls the Blanchardstown-born pub enthusiast tallied 39 pubs in less than five hours.

Armed with just his phone and his bike, he was dependent on his legion of online followers to help direct him around the city.

"I'm sure I've missed a few. There was one on Dorset Street that I just couldn't find," he told the Herald.

Some of the city's most iconic pubs made the list, including The Plough on Abbey Street, The Countess on Townsend Street, The Vaults at Connolly Station and the Five Lamps on Amien Street.

Pubs play a significant role in Irish life but nobody is too keen to talk about the reality, noted Mr Geraghty.

During his tour he came across a particularly nostalgic closure.

"I went to the former Isaac Butt (which then became The Good Bits), I had my 21st there," he said.

"Throughout the day everyone was posting their own memories of certain pubs".

"We never really talk about that part, but how many people can say things like 'I had my first date here' about a pub?"

Among the list of closed pubs there was signs of hope with some, such as The Belfry in Stoneybatter, due to re-open or having work done.

"I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for those that re-open," the 28 year-old pledged.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of the information yet but maybe in a year's time I could look at doing the same thing again," he added.

"Not everyone gets a chance to cycle around the city all day and call it work," he joked.

Cycling from closed pub to closed pub was an idea that just hit the self-appointed documentarian.

HISTORY

A history graduate, he has a keen interest in the past and his business is all about the pub business.

"I know there are a few other projects going on to document unused films in the city so I'm happy to have made even a bit of a contribution to that," he commented.

For his next project the pub-expert is considering tracking the name changes of bars across the city.

"That could be interesting to look at," he said.

After concluding his search for the city's lost pubs the day ended with the only appropriate ending - a pint.

hnews@herald.ie

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