Monday, August 24, 2009

So Mark and I have decided to embark on an extended tour of Dublin. We're calling it "The Townie Tour" but the word "townie" doesn't mean the same thing here as it does back home. So basically we're planning on visiting hole-in-the-wall, old man, curious pubs with a bit of history.

Our first outing was to two pubs near Connolly station, Cleary's and Molloy's.

We went into Cleary's, and it was full of middle aged and elderly men. When we first walked in, there was only one other woman in there, and there weren't any seats at the bar. So we grabbed a table and ordered a couple of pints. The Television was at old man volume. The inside has the original Victorian decor and is full of Republican memorabilia (note to American readers, Republicanism here doesn't mean the same thing as over there!). At one point the barman asked for a consensus on what channel to put the TV on from all the men at the bar. I really couldn't take a photo inside the pub, as much as I would have liked to, but I took one from outside, but it came out pretty bad:

Then we went into Molloy's which felt older than Cleary's, but in a sort of lodgey way. The bar itself is made of hand-carved wood, and the ceilings are covered in wood instead of embossed tin like a lot of old pubs. When we walked in, there was an argument underway between two country guys and three city guys. One of the country guys was slurring (through the hole where his front teeth should be) something loudly to the Dubs. It took a few moments to figure out that he was actually insulting them because I could hardly understand what he was saying. But they sure did! They were swearing at him and telling him to get out of the bar. Then the other guy from the country started in on them. And then he shouted, "Do you know why you're called a Jackeen? Do you know why you're called a Jackeen???" I had to ask Mark what a Jackeen was. But though he knew what it meant, he could answer the question, and neither could the Dublin guys, it seemed, because they didn't answer. But he kept asking...over and over. At one point one of the Dublin guys stood up and took his jacket off and the barman had to come around and try to get everyone to calm down. It was pretty entertaining, actually.

As it turns out, Molloy's was a regular haunt of Mark's paternal grandfather. Here's a photo I took of some graffiti in the ladies' room:

And one from the outside:

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