The Old Commando, in particular, is no stranger to this town having spent many a few days at the famous Listowel Races over the years, and with the Kerry footballers due to begin their campaign next weekend he felt it would be a good time to head south west.
Just over three hours after we left HQ we arrived in the lovely town of Listowel and the Young Commando was given the responsibility of finding us a watering hole. He spotted a Ukrainian flag with the inscription “You’ll never walk alone” in the front window of Con Dillon’s pub and suggested this could be worth checking out.
To say he was overjoyed when he stepped inside the front would be an understatement. From the front door to the back door, from the floor to the ceiling this boozer is decorated in all types of Liverpool football club memorabilia and the Young Commando was in his element.
“I think I’ll fit in around here anyway, you might want to hold off on your GAA chat for this week old timer” our young gun said to the Old Commando.
“Nonsense” the Old Commando replied. “There’s no pub in Kerry where a man doesn’t discuss real football. It’s their religion.”
It was very busy when we arrived in Dillon’s pub but the only female we could see was the young barmaid behind the counter, all the customers were young males ranging from early twenties to mid forties. There was only one table still available and we managed to secure it as the Young Commando ordered our round of drinks at the counter.
Along with the usual beers on draught they also have Coors, Tuborg, Rockshore lager and cider and the Old Commando’s favourite from the ’80s and ’90s, Harp lager.
“Many a Harp attack I had over the years,.I was convinced I was dying one morning after drinking it. Great times,” he said jokingly.
The creamy pints of stout cost €4.50, which is very reasonable, and there was a good atmosphere as the locals watched live football across four different TVs.
There were plenty of customers wearing working gear, and perhaps they never made it home after their days’ labour, but who can begrudge a man a pint after a long week slaving at the grind.
As for the décor of this pub, everywhere you look had something Liverpool FC related. There are no less than 10 very large flags hanging from the ceiling, as well as scarves and jerseys.
We can only imagine what the atmosphere will be like here on May 14, or the following week, if Liverpool did manage to win the Premier league.
The Old Commando was pleased to see a large-framed picture of the 1977 hurling and football GAA All-Stars on the wall, but he was surprised by the lack of interest in the game versus Cork next Saturday.
“Maybe they’re just holding off until the All-Ireland series before they’ll take it seriously” one of our Commandos suggested.
The shelves were all well stocked but the lighting in the bar was very minimal. There was some flashing red bulbs near the end of the bar but they didn’t do much to brighten the place up.
We dispatched the Young Commando to inspect the toilets and he reported back to us that were in need of some attention.
A sign advises that they are checked hourly by staff, but
the lock is broken in the cubicle and this should be fixed without delay.
All in all we enjoyed the atmosphere and pints in Con Dillon’s pub with the small recommendation of investment in the toilets areas as they’re in need of sprucing up.
Rating: Three pints out of Five
One for the road
The Horseshoe Bar - Listowel
AFTER a long trek from HQ, our Commando’s were starving with the hunger. Luckily for us, The Horseshoe Bar serves food and we were only too delighted to dine while we supped our pints of plain.
The barmaid on duty wore glasses and she served us the moment we arrived.
We noticed she treated everyone with a welcoming smile and hello and had a great manner about her.
There were numerous young waitresses on duty who were also very friendly and there was hardly an empty seat, but it was mostly people having meals rather than hardcore drinkers at the counter.
Still, the atmosphere was good and we enjoyed our fare. The TV’s were switched off, which nobody seemed to mind.
The toilets are down a long hallway and they were in good condition.
Rating: Three pints out of Five