Food & DrinkPub Spy

This Tipp-top pub is a real rural gem

This Tipp-top pub is a real rural gem

The pubmobile was back in rural Ireland this week with a trip to the small village of Bansha – 20km south of Cashel.

We can’t recall ever having been to the area and none of the troops could say they knew too much about the place.

However, we always love to see new places and Nellie’s Bar in Bansha was new to us. Our designated driver got us to south Tipperary in just over two hours and there was plenty of parking across the road from Nellie’s just outside the church.

There are a few pubs in Bansha, but Nellie’s was the only place open when we called, despite it being well after 6pm. It’s a sign that rural Ireland is still struggling – as is one of Ireland’s greatest pastimes. 

We entered Nellie’s expecting the classic country atmosphere and that’s exactly what we got. We were served by Nellie herself and she was very welcoming and friendly to all of the Commandos.

“Take a seat there lads and I’ll drop these drinks over to you,” she insisted. “You probably want to watch the match.”

We were more than happy to be waited on and we made ourselves comfortable on the wine-coloured leather bench seating. There was a mixed clientele and there was a great atmosphere as the locals watched the live GAA on TV.

The bar is divided into two sections and while it was quite peaceful in the first section (where there is no TV), there was plenty of noise and banter in the second section as customers shouted and cheered with each score taken.

The barmaid dropped our drinks over and collected payment, with the pint of stout costing just €4.

“There must be a 10c service charge for dropping them over,” the Young Commando joked.

“Why do you say that?” one of our troops asked.

“Well they advertised it at the front door for €3.90. I noticed it on the way in,” he replied. 

The Old Commando argued it must be a simple oversight and while he agreed they should get their pricing right, €4 was still cheap and it was a quality pint.

There were blue and yellow streamers hanging from the lights and Tipperary flags proudly hanging on both sides of the bar. 

There are signs advising patrons not to stand on the bench seating, but we’d imagine it’ll be hard to stop customers doing that if Liam MacCarthy should make his way back to Tipperary in September.

“Never mind Liam MacCarthy, I’d say they were doing it two weeks ago after the Munster final,” the Young Commando joked.

There are plenty of hurling photos throughout the bar and the Tipperary teams of 1991 and 2010 are hanging proudly on display. The Old Commando believes they should make room for the 2015 team as he can’t see them being stopped in their quest for Liam.

There was no fire lit, thankfully, as it is the last thing we want to see in July, but there was rubbish lying in the fireplace and this is a pet peeve of Pub Spy.

The red coloured carpet has become quite worn over the years and it may be time to take a trip to Des Kelly’s.

Our Old Commando gave the toilets the once-over and he advised us they were clean, had a pleasant odour but were quite small and the cubicle lock was broken. 

The red and black exterior of Nellie’s bar was in excellent condition and the hanging and window baskets added greatly to its pleasant facade.

We had a great time in Nellie’s Bar. It’s a pleasant country pub with a friendly barmaid, a good clientele and cheap and cheerful pints of stout.