House about a trip to this corner pub
The Corner House, Ballyragget, kilkenny
THE Old Commando loves trips to Kilkenny. It doesn’t bother him what part of the county we call to, he always has a good time.
We knew before we left that we would find it hard to get the old boy to focus on the task at hand. We arrived in Ballyragget after 90 minutes driving and the town looked like it had been deserted.
There was little or no activity on the streets and we feared our trip would be a wasted journey. With the pub-mobile safely parked in the square we made our way to The Corner House on the corner of High St and Patrick St, just off the main road.
We could hear the crowd from outside and once we stepped inside the front door it all made sense why the streets were empty, there was GAA on the TV.
“Well that’s a rookie mistake on our behalf,” the Old Commando stated. “We should have known they’d be watching the matches. Sure it’s more important than mass in this county.”
It was a predominately male clientele when we called and each and every conversation was dominated by hurling, as expected. We managed to nab some of the red leather bench seating opposite the bar and we dispatched the Old Commando to the counter to get the drinks in.
The barman served him without delay and the pints of plain went down a treat among the troops. He didn’t engage us in much conversation, but it was relatively busy so we understood. The majority of the barstools looked fine and while there was some that were slightly worn, it was nothing to worry about just yet.
There is a lovely photo hanging beside the TV at the end of the bar from 2008 that highlights Kilkenny’s clean sweep of titles. The minor, U-21, Intermediate and senior titles were all won that year and the inscription beneath states: ‘The Year of the Cats’.
“Isn’t every year the year of the Cats?” the Young Commando joked.
“They’ve been written off more times than a property developer’s bank loans and still come back fighting,” he added.
We were enjoying the atmosphere, but a quick trip to the loo for the Old Commando changed things very quickly. He told us they were in need of urgent attention and care. The urinals were fine, but there were numerous cigarette butts on the ground and the floor tiles were damaged in areas. There was no seat on the toilet, but at least there was hot water provided.
There are two licence plates hanging over the bar and the Young Commando pointed out that instead of 141-KK-Liam, it should be 142-KK-Liam as the All-Ireland final was in September. He’s very pedantic like that.
The tiled floor was in need of a sweep and the white net curtains would benefit from a wash, but we couldn’t fault the atmosphere here in The Corner House.
The porter was tasty and reasonably priced so we decided to award this pub three ‘pints’, but urgent attention is required in the toilets and we expect the locals will appreciate the effort.
After all, they’re the people who have to use them.
*** Three-pint rating