Food & DrinkPub Spy

Classy pub’s taking ker’ of business

Classy pub’s taking ker’ of business

It’s almost a three-hour spin on the M6 to Ennis in Co. Clare, but the Old Commando was insisting upon a visit to the Banner capital.

Pub Spy had broken the news at HQ that we were due our first visit of 2015 to Clare and once the Old Commando heard the news, he was desperate to visit Ennis.

“We haven’t been to Ennis since 2009. It’s a great auld spot, we had a right laugh there the last time,” he told us as he called shotgun for the passenger seat.

All of our Commandos know it’s just easier to agree with his requests/demands as it will save us a lot of time and energy. 

As usual he was giving it both barrels for the duration of our journey, telling us each and every detail he could think of that related to the area.

“Did you know Des Lynam from the BBC was originally from Ennis?” he said. 

“Not to mention Muhammad Ali’s great grandfather. Ah Ennis is a great town.”

As the Pubmobile arrived outside Michael Kerin’s pub on the Lifford Road the conversation about celebrities from Clare quickly moved to thoughts about a creamy pint of stout. 

The Old Commando had a thirst on him and he barely waited for our designated driver to bring the car to a halt before he jumped out and headed for Kerin’s front door.

There are three different sections to this pub and we made base towards the rear of the L-shaped counter near the toilet doors. 

A young-looking barman, early 30s perhaps, served us immediately and we found him to be very friendly and welcoming. He shared a joke with the locals as some of them tried to convince him their change had disappeared from the counter.

“You’d want to be up fairly early to catch that lad out,” one customer joked to the Old Commando. “Sharp as a whip he is,” he smiled.

The barman’s name eluded us, but we did all reserve special praise for him as we felt he was very helpful to all the customers, especially the elderly customers, for whom he ordered taxis and helped them outside when they were leaving.

“That’s a really decent country touch you know. You wouldn’t see that happening just anywhere,” the Old Commando told us.

Just as importantly, the pints of plain were a creamy and satisfying taste of heaven. At just €4.10, they are keenly priced and they got a thumbs-up from all of the Commandos.

The Young Commando checked out the rest of Kerin’s pub and he told us the second/middle section was reserved for musicians and there is live traditional music every Friday night. Some of the older male customers told us it’s definitely worth coming to the gig as it’s always great craic.

There are two fireplaces in the bar, but there wasn’t much need for either with the current nice spell of weather we’re enjoying. There are three TVs in the pub, one in each section, and the green velvet bench seating and barstools were all in good condition. There is also a dartboard, but it wasn’t being used during our stay.

The Young Commando sat back down to enjoy his pint and we dispatched our designated driver to give the toilets a quick inspection. He told us they were quite small with one cubicle and a small stainless steel urinal, but they were clean. However, he said the floor was “wringing wet” and that you’d need a pair of “wellies” to avoid getting soaked.

Just as we were ready to leave we noticed that a staff member entered the loos and mopped the floors. We were thrilled that we got to keep Kerin’s at a ‘four pint’ rating as it truly deserves it.

The staff in Michael Kerin’s pub are brilliant and they have the pints of stout and atmosphere to match it.