Food & DrinkPub Spy

Brennan’s spread is a tasty treat

Brennan's
Brennan's

This past week Pub Spy returned to Tipperary for the first time since last July and although it’s been seven months since our last visit, that trip will live long in our memories for all the wrong reasons.

The troops are still complaining to this day about last summer’s visit to New Inn in Co. Tipperary, but Pub Spy was hopeful of restoring their faith in the Premier County.

“I suppose you can’t judge an entire county by one bad experience,” one of the Commandos stated. “We’ll go to Thurles and see what they have to offer.” 

If there is anywhere in Tipperary that the Old Commando would look forward to visiting it would certainly have to be Thurles, which is the birthplace of the GAA and steeped in tradition.

It took us just over 90 minutes to arrive in Thurles and we parked the pub-mobile just outside the Lár na Páirce museum on the Slievenamon Road before proceeding on foot towards Brennan’s bar in Liberty Square.

The brown timber exterior of Brennan’s bar was faultless and we were all anxious to get inside and sample the atmosphere and, of course, the porter. 

We were taken aback when we walked inside and realised it was very quiet. We were expecting a cracking atmosphere on a weekend night, but there were plenty of seats available throughout the pub, much to our surprise.

“Maybe everyone’s waiting for next weekend boss. You know, for the rugby match with the English,” the Young Commando suggested.
“You’re in the wrong part of 

Munster to be talking about rugby. People around here know that a ball is round, not egg-shaped,” the Old Commando joked.

The middle-aged barman served us immediately and all of the Commandos were impressed with their surroundings. The barman engaged us briefly in conversation, but he was working by himself so we understood that he hadn’t time to stand around. 

The pints of plain were thick and creamy and set us back €4.30 a pop. There is one TV in the front bar and we noticed a second TV behind the bar in the snug section. The red velvet bench seating was in good condition and the timber floor was very clean. In fact, the entire pub was very clean.

Our Old Commando was admiring the Tipperary team photo from 2001 when Toomevara man Tommy Dunne led his side to the Liam MacCarthy Cup with victory over Galway, last weekend’s visitors to Semple Stadium.

“Do you think they’ve any hope this year?” the Old Commando asked a local.

“A hope?” he replied. “There’s nothing more certain we’ll be dancing around Liberty Square come September. Mark my words.” 

The Old Commando shared some friendly banter with the man, but he did warn him to watch out for Ger Cunningham’s Dubs this year as they may pose a threat to Tipperary’s aspirations.

Of course the Tipperary ladies are also remembered in this pub and there is a beautiful photo of the 2003 All-Ireland camogie champions pictured in front of Cashel Castle. The Young Commando took it upon himself to give the toilets the once-over and he gave them a glowing report. 

“They’re immaculate boss,” he told us. “They look relatively new, maybe they got renovated recently, I’m not sure, but they’re in great condition.” 

The floor and wall tiles were very attractive, the soap dispenser was full to the brim and there was hot water provided to wash our hands.

We enjoyed our trip to Thurles and to Brennan’s pub. We wish it had been a bit busier during our stay, but the locals who were present were good characters and made it an enjoyable trip. 

We’ll be back to Brennan’s boozer again sometime and we’d certainly recommend a visit for anyone in the area.