There was an all male clientele and it looked as though some of the customers had stopped off “for one or two” before going home after work.
WE were long overdue a visit to Co Carlow and even longer overdue a visit to the old market town of Tullow.
After an 80-minute journey south from our headquarters, we arrived in Tullow town and as we crossed the River Slaney and into the town centre the Old Commando had his eyes peeled in search of a watering hole.
With our pub-mobile parked safely we went on foot seeking out a pub to cure our Guinness cravings and it was the Old Commando who spotted The Derreen pub on a side street.
“Bound to be named after the River Derreen,” the Old Commando said. “Let’s check it out. I’ve a fierce thirst on me,” he added.
It seems he wasn’t the only man in town with a thirst on him as the front bar of The Derreen was fairly full with only a small amount of seating still available.
There was an all male clientele and it looked as though some of the customers had stopped off “for one or two” before going home after work. Or maybe even more than one or two!
There was a barmaid and barman on duty when we arrived but it was the bearded barman with glasses who served us as soon as we arrived.
We left the Young Commando to pay for our drinks as the rest of our travelling party set up base on the opposite side of the bar near one of the TVs.
There was a very good atmosphere during our stay with a predominately middle aged to elderly clientele but everyone was in good form and it reminded us of pre 2020 Irish pubs.
“I never thought pubs would recover after the way the Government and CMO treated them for two years but it warms my heart to see them full and people enjoying themselves,” the Old Commando stated.
The creamy pints of stout were priced at €4.80 and they have both cider and lager versions of Rockshore and Coors available on draught, as well as the usual drinks.
There are plenty of barstools throughout the front bar as well as a dart board, a cigarette machine and at least five TVs.
As expected in a rugby mad town like Tullow, we noticed photos of the local Tullow RFC team celebrating a Towns Cup victory and the Young Commando suggested this may have been from 2017.
Ireland’s Triple Crown championships from 1948 and 1985 are also remembered with team photos, and the iconic lineout photo from February 2007 in Croke Park during the Ireland V England game is also on display.
Local hero Sean ‘The Tullow Tank’ O’Brien is also featured.
“I see he’s lining out for Naas these days, a good one in his day to be fair,” the Old Commando noted.
We liked the simple décor of The Derreen with the wall panelling and counter and the barmaid was constantly on the move, wiping down tables and sweeping the floor.
Three pints into our session it was the Young Commando who could no longer carry the load and had to escape to the toilets.
He reported back to us that they were reasonably clean with four urinals and one cubicle, the hand dryer worked fine and there is a hand sensor paper towel dispenser.
He did note that the hot water tap is very loose and needs to be fixed.
Overall, we enjoyed our few rounds of stout in Tullow and we really enjoyed the atmosphere.
Rating: Three pints out of Five
One for the road…
John Staunton - Tullow, Co Carlow
The Old Commando knew the name over the door at this pub and knew he had visited before, but once we stepped inside he drew a blank.
He didn’t recognise his surroundings but was adamant he had been here in the last eight to ten years.
The front bar had a few customers sprinkled about but the best atmosphere was definitely in the middle section of the pub, a small snug area between the bar and lounge that would be full if there was 20 people present.
There was an all male clientele and plenty of banter flying about, mostly at the UK government’s expense.
We passed through the lounge briefly and it was relatively quiet, but there are two TVs, a jukebox and two dart boards.
The toilets at the rear had four urinals and one cubicle, but there were cigarette butts in one of the urinals and smell of smoke was still strong.
A cosy spot in the snug and a friendly atmosphere, but keep an eye on the loos.
Rating: Three pints out of Five