Pubspy - Ballyragget, kilkenny | 

Friendly crowd and creamy pints at €4.70 Fitz’ the bill in this Ballyragget boozer

Trips to the Marble County are always dominated by hurling banter in the pubs and we didn’t expect this visit to be any different, even if the championship did finish almost two months ago.

Fitzpatrick's Bar, Ballyraggett

Fitzpatrick's Bar in Ballyragget

Sunday World

Fitzpatrick’s Bar – Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny

IT takes ninety minutes to get to Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny, from our HQ – and for the duration of our trip the Old Commando sang the praises of former Cats supremo Brian Cody.

“I can’t believe he’s finally called it a day,” the Old Commando started off saying, before paying a glowing tribute to “the greatest ever whose likes we’ll never see again”.

Trips to the Marble County are always dominated by hurling banter in the pubs and we didn’t expect this visit to be any different, even if the championship did finish almost two months ago.

When we arrived in the small town of Ballyragget, our designated driver secured parking almost straight away and as our troops took to the streets, the Young Commando spotted Fitzpatrick’s Bar.

“Let’s check this place out. I’ve heard good things about it,” he said, much to our amusement.

“How would he know about a pub in Kilkenny?” one of our Commandos wondered out loud. “He gets lost leaving the office most days.”

When you step inside the front porch of this pub there are two options: a snug area to your right, or the main bar to your left.

We veered left and entered the busy bar, where we managed to secure seats in the raised seating section across from the counter.

Unfortunately there were no barstools or spaces at the counter itself – this is where the Old Commando loves to perch himself and engage the locals for news or scandal.

The Young Commando placed our order with the blonde barmaid on duty. She served him promptly even though she was working alone and it was very busy during our stay.

She seemed to be on first-name terms with the locals and she was friendly to our troops.

The creamy pints of Guinness cost €4.70, which is reasonable enough by today’s standards. There was an all-male clientele and a very enjoyable atmosphere.

The orange velvet bench seating and brown leather barstools were all in good condition and the floor tiles were clean.

We counted at least four TVs in the bar and there is a dart board located in a separate room towards the rear of the pub.

The solid-fuel stove is located just inside the front door but it wasn’t lit during our stay, although it maybe now with the miserable weatherfully upon us.

It wouldn’t be a Kilkenny boozer without the obligatory photos of their All-Ireland-winning teams, and the 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2015 teams are just some of the many legendary squads to have made it onto the wall of fame.

Club hurling is held in just as high esteem as the county team and the local St Patrick’s jersey hangs proudly on the wall too, as well as their teams from 2012 that won the Junior hurling All-Ireland title and the 2018 Intermediate hurling All-Ireland title.

“I heard there was some craic after the county final in 2017,” the Young Commando joked, as he finally let it slip how he had heard about this boozer.

“If you STRIP it all back, you’d have to say this is a good aul’ spot isn’t it?” he added jokingly.

While not sitting directly with the locals, we were sitting quite closely and some of the yarns being spun were very amusing, with one particular customer acting as the stereotypical country pub storyteller – keeping everyone on the edge of their seats, holding his audience in his hand and expertly delivering his punchlines. It probably increased sales too!

We had a great time in Fitzpatrick’s – some good clean fun and a few pints and nothing more. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!

Rating: Four pints out of Five

One for the road…

Maher’s – Ballyragget

It wasn’t overly busy when we called to Maher’s pub, but the young barman on duty kept us entertained, to be fair. He couldn’t be described as shy, that’s for sure!

The pub was spotlessly clean with beautiful furnishings such as the brown leather bench seating and chairs, while the timber and tiled floor sections were in good condition. There are at least three TVs in the bar along with a jukebox, and they were serving food during our stay.

The Young Commando was disappointed it wasn’t a Wednesday when he noticed a sign advertising all-you-can-eat chicken wings for just €14, or €18 with a drink. He loves his chicken wings.

Carling, Birra Moretti and Orchard Thieves are just some of the drinks available on draught, and the shelves and fridges were all fully stocked.

We inspected the toilets before we departed and they were up to code. There are four urinals, one cubicle, a paper towel dispenser and an electric hand dryer.

Rating: Three pints out of Five

Today's Headlines

More Pubspy

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices