Food & DrinkPub Spy

Con’ artist pours the perfect pint

Tir Conaill Bar
Tir Conaill Bar

MacCafartis ‘Tir Conaill Bar’, Donegal Town

THIS was our first outing to Donegal in 2015 and although we love visiting the county, the journey is never enjoyable. It’s a very long trek from HQ, but the Old Commando said we could expect a great atmosphere in the build-up to the county’s Ulster football clash with Armagh.

After three hours travelling we arrived in the busy town of Donegal and after circling the ‘diamond’ three times we were forced to park the pub-mobile on Upper Main Street near the local church.

It was a nice walk back to the town centre, but the Old Commando hadn’t the patience to wait as our designated driver filled the parking meter. The rest of the troops were glad of the opportunity to stretch their legs, but within minutes the Young Commando’s phone rang.

“The whole lot of you get your a***s over to the Tir Conaill bar now. Jaysus the pints are only gorgeous,” the Old Commando said to him.

When we landed in the Tir Conaill bar the Old Commando was tucked up beside the fireplace warming his hands over the lovely turf fire.

“He must have no blood circulation at all. It’s not even that cold,” one of our troops joked.

A middle-aged barman served us upon arrival and he was a very quiet man. He engaged us briefly in conversation as he pulled our creamy pints of stout. We got our pints and moved over to sit with the Old Commando, who was smiling like a Cheshire cat.

“What has you so excited?” our Young Commando enquired.

“Take a sip of that pint and you’ll soon find out young man. I’m going to get another,” he replied.

At €3.90 a pint we were thrilled with both the price and the taste. The Old Commando stated that his pint was as good as any he has had on our excursions so far this year. There was a big crowd in the bar during our visit but, to be fair, anything over 25 people would probably fill the place. Seating is very limited and that’s probably because there is nowhere to put it.

The dark floor tiles were very clean and the bar was well stocked. There is just the one TV in the bar, but nobody was paying much attention to it.

We were expecting the topic of conversation to be totally focused on Donegal’s big game with Armagh, but most of the male clientele were discussing Ireland’s recent friendly game with England. There is a vast amount of soccer photos hanging throughout the pub and they are mostly all of Celtic football club.

“They must love Celtic around here. Can you imagine if Seamus Coleman ever signed for them they’d lose their minds,” one of our commandos said.

“That won’t happen. He’s too good,” the Young Commando replied.

We would advise caution when taking a trip to the toilets as the ceilings are extremely low both in the hallway and in the loos themselves. The Old Commando was forced to stoop on his visit and so would anyone whose 6ft or more.The toilets were clean, but there was a slight odour and the clear perspex roof in the hallway would benefit from a good clean. There was dirt lying on it and it looks terrible.

We had a good time in this pub. The atmosphere was very good and we can only imagine what it’s like when the music sessions get going. We’re sure to return someday and hopefully sample it.

*** Three-pint rating