The pints of Guinness cost €4.70 and it met with the approval of our stout connoisseurs.
West Limerick is one such area that the pub-mobile hasn’t been to too often over the years, so we embarked on the two and a half hour journey to the south west to see what we could find.
Neary’s pub in Ardagh ended up being our port of call but it was only by a stroke of luck that this visit came to fruition.
As our designated driver navigated his way through the Main Street of the small rural village, he quickly realised parking spots were at a premium, so he pulled our wagon over just outside the local church where there was a handful of empty spaces.
We walked towards Neary’s pub, which is located next to the church, but the front doors were closed and we assumed the pub was too.
As we walked back towards the pub-mobile the Young Commando yelled at us to come back, he had managed to get in and there was quite a crowd in there too.
There is no nameplate over the front of the pub and we only learned the name of the bar via the canopy at the side of the pub which had Neary’s printed on it.
The counter is just two steps inside the front door and this is where we set up base for the evening. We placed our order with the barman on duty and while we found it difficult to understand his accent, we found him very friendly, welcoming and he had a very good work ethic.
He was constantly on the move taking care of customers and as soon as we arrived he provided the WiFi password to the Young Commando without him even having to ask.
“You’ll need it,” he said with a smile.
“He’s not lying anyway that’s for sure, there’s not a stitch of a signal in this place,” the Young Commando laughed.
The pints of Guinness cost €4.70 and it met with the approval of our stout connoisseurs. There are two sections in the pub and both had a large screen TV at either end.
No doubt the crowds were huddled around them for last Sunday’s epic hurling encounter with Tipperary, but the Old Commando wondered if this weekend’s clash with Tipperary in the Munster football semi final will generate the same interest. In short, no is the answer to that question.
The green velvet barstools were in good condition and yellow coloured floor tiles were clean. There are two pieces of benched seating in the front bar and while one was in very good condition, the second piece is extremely worn and in need of reupholstering. A photo of the 1973 Limerick hurlers hangs proudly on the wall while there are number-plates hanging above the front door commemorating their triumphs in 2018, 2020 and 2021.
“They’ll probably have another one in 2022 by the looks of it,” the Old Commando mused. A framed Old Mill GAA jersey hangs from the rafters and a local told us that this is the local ladies’ GAA club.
The frosted glass windows were certainly in need of a good wash. Maybe a change to clear glass would be beneficial to allow more light in.
We gave the toilets a quick spot check before we departed and they were spotlessly clean with three urinals and one cubicle. We really enjoyed this rare trip to Ardagh, but the five hour round trip left us jaded.
Rating: Three pints out of Five
One for the road
Top of the Town - Athea, Limerick
THIS boozer borrows its name from its location — at the top of the town! This was a first time visit for our Commandos and it was an enjoyable few pints among a nice clientele and fine surroundings.
Surprisingly enough, the majority of the clientele were female and probably in their 30s which pleased the Young Commando while the Old Commando was just happy to find Harp lager on draught. He couldn’t resist.
The barmaid who served us was named Mary and she was very welcoming to our travelling party.
The tiled floor was spotlessly clean and the wine coloured bench seating was in good condition.
We gave the toilets a quick inspection before we departed and while the urinal was clean, the lock on the cubicle was broken and should be fixed immediately.
Rating: Three pints out of Five