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© The Chicago Bar Project   Written by Sean Parnell
The Irish Pub Project
Observations while drinking at selected pubs in Ireland from 2000-2002

The following pages are a tribute to the Irish Pub – one of three cornerstones of Irish culture that also includes the church and the home. The Irish pub, while simple in nature, has thoroughly influenced how people come together, converse, pontificate, pick up, and enjoy Guinness in even the most remote corners of the world. In Ireland's capitol city of Dublin, where some people say that half the people are writing plays and all the people are acting in them, there are currently 800 bars. While this is down from a high of 4,000 and the ongoing threat of classic pubs being transformed into trendy, minimalist, club-like lounges looms, the Irish pub is alive and well – so much so that firms like the Irish Pub Company have actually made a global business of exporting entire pubs from Ireland to foreign lands. These countries seem to cry out for authenticity over cheesy, local imitations of the Irish pub. A few Irish pubs are explored in-depth on these pages. Whether you are an enthusiast of the "poor man's university" or not, my hope is that you enjoy these pages and can take something positive away from them. Sláinte.

Without further ado, the pubs:

"The harp player had just fallen off the stage and cracked his head on an Italian tourist's pint. There was a big cheer, and Con the barman rang a bell on the counter.

"St Patrick's Day, and McCarthy's Bar was heaving.

"The Eighth Rule of Travel states: Never Pass a Bar That Has Your Name On It. Other rules include... No. 13, Never Ask a Britich Airways Stewardess for Another Glass of Wine Until She's Good and Ready...

"Outside, I stood under the green neon shamrock and looked up at the sign. 'McCarthy's,' it said. 'Hungary's Top Irish Pub'... Sod this, I thought. Next year I'll go to Ireland."

– excerpt from McCarthy's Bar by Pete McCarthy

~ Have a good story relating to Irish pubs? Email us. ~

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