The pub has been at the centre of Irish life for centuries. It has played many roles: funeral home, restaurant, grocery shop, music venue, job centre and meeting place for everyone from poets to revolutionaries. Often plain and unpretentious, it is a neutral ground, a leveller – a home away from home.
From the feasts of high kings, through the heady gang-ruled pubs of nineteenth-century New York, right up to the gay bars and superpubs of today, this is an entertaining journey through the evolution of the Irish pub. Our ‘locals’ have become a global phenomenon: the export of the Irish pub, its significance to emigrants and its portrayal in cinema, television and literature are engagingly explored.
The story of the Irish pub is the story of Ireland itself.
"Fascinating … endlessly surprising." – Irish Independent. "Full of brilliant anecdotes, packed with legal, literary, religious and historical bits and pieces that will keep you talking in the pub all night." – Neil Delamere, Today FM. "An enjoyable romp through the ephemera and facts surrounding that most Irish of institutions." – Irish Examiner. "Fascinating ... a great gift." – Mark Cagney, TV3