Food & DrinkPub Spy

Live the life of Reilly in this boozer

O'Reilly's Pub
O'Reilly's Pub

O’Reilly’s, Drumlish, Co. Longford

COULD it really be nine years since our last visit to Drumlish? That’s what the Old Commando reckoned and he’s very rarely wrong when it comes to dates and figures.

He told us it was early, possibly January, in 2006 when the pub-mobile made its last pit-stop in Drumlish in west Longford.

He was looking forward to this trip and was singing plenty of country and Irish style songs.

“Did you lads know Declan Nerney is from Drumlish?” the Old Commando said to the troops.

“Who’s that? I don’t have him on my iPod,” the Young Commando replied, in what we can only hope was a cheeky attempt to wind-up his colleague. It is quite possible he was serious, though. We can never tell.

After a two-hour journey from HQ we arrived in Drumlish and parking was easy enough to locate in this quiet country area.

We pulled in right outside O’Reilly’s pub and we immediately got a very strong smell of paint.

“I think they’re renovating here boss. Will we move on?” one of our troops asked.

“No, not at all. We’ll have a quick gargle here and see what it has to offer. That smell could be from next door anyway,” the Old Commando replied.

O’Reilly’s was packed when we arrived and we were very lucky to secure two stools at the end of the bar beside the fireplace.

The rest of the Commandos had to stand, but they didn’t mind mingling as the atmosphere was very good.

A young barman served us and the Young Commando suggested he was the right side of the bar, as he’s probably not old enough to be the same side as ourselves.

He was a nice young man and he made a friend in the Old Commando when he asked for just €3.80 for the pint of Guinness.

“He mightn’t be old enough to drink it, but he’s not too bad at pulling it anyway,” the Old Commando joked.

There were plenty of different accents floating about in O’Reilly’s pub, with some English twangs being overheard and possibly some French also.

We didn’t have Drumlish pegged as a huge tourist destination, but perhaps punters are catching an early glimpse of the county before the holiday centre opens in the next few years.

The red velvet barstools were okay, but they did look quite old and some new furniture would help brighten up the place. There was no fire blazing and the fireplace was full of ash and needed to be cleaned.

There is a framed Kilkenny hurling jersey hanging in the corner of this pub, which was presented by Brian Cody and signed by Brian Hogan and the legendary Henry Shefflin.

There is also a framed Melbourne Storm rugby league jersey hanging beside it, but the signatures on that jersey didn’t mean anything to our troops.

The hallway to the loos was described by the Young Commando as a ‘shrine’ to Fr Manning Gaels, the local GAA side. He told us there are numerous newspaper articles and pictures hanging on the wall dedicated to the successful outings of the seven times Longford senior football championship winners.

The toilets were clean and the white and orange wall tiles with border trim were very nice.

There are well in excess of 100 baseball caps hanging from the ceiling in this pub from all over the world, we couldn’t figure out why and the only logical explanation we could think of was that the owner of this pub is a devout collector.

We’re not sure what they’re meant to offer, but some of them look like they’ve been hanging there for years and there was some we wouldn’t fancy wearing without running them through the wash first.

We had a good time in O’Reilly’s, which was helped by the great atmosphere and cheap porter. At €3.80 a pint we’d like to have stayed longer, but there’s always next time.


*** Three-pint rating