Pubspy - Gort, Co. Galway | 

Johnny Walsh’s pub in Gort gets a high €5 for its cheap pints and atmosphere

We sat and watched the world go by in south Galway after a lovely drive

Johnny Walsh's bar is Galway was well worth the trip west

Sunday World

Johnny Walsh’s – Gort, Co. Galway

THE pub mobile took us out west this week as we visited Co Galway for the first time in 2023.

As we made the two-and-a-half hour journey from HQ the Young Commando suggested there could be quite a buzz about the area ahead of Sunday’s National League football final clash with Mayo.

“A repeat of the 2001 league final and Galway looking for their first league title since 1981; I’d say there’ll be a right good atmosphere ahead of the game,” the Young Commando said as we veered off the M6 and on to the new M18 motorway.

“You don’t know your geography too well, young man. Folks around Gort won’t even know it is on, not unless they’re allowed use hurleys,” the Old Commando jokingly replied.

As our designated driver parked our wagon in the town centre, Johnny Walsh’s pub was the first one we locked eyes on. It’s entirely possibly we’d been here before but it didn’t ring a bell with our Commandos and we’re always eager to check out somewhere new to us.

An experienced barmaid was on duty when we called and she made her way over to us as soon as we stepped inside the cosy front bar.

We secured a table attached to the counter and immediately knew we were going to have a job on our hands removing the Old Commando from this spot. The creamy pints of stout cost €5, which is in this day and age is actually considered cheap.

“When you hand over the keys of the country to medical professionals for two years there was always going to be consequences — inflation is one of those consequences.

“But sure still, lessons were learned anyway, that’s the most important thing,” the Old Commando said rather sarcastically.

There was an all male clientele in the front bar, which is where we were stationed throughout our visit, and there was horse racing on the TV in the corner.

An English gentleman sitting near it kept the Old Commando nattering as they exchanged tips on each race, although we don’t think either of them enjoyed much success over the course of the day.

A large window at the front of the room provides great light into the bar but also allows the punter a great view of the town itself as you sit and sip your pint watching the world go by — a perfect way to pass your day if you’ve hit retirement age.

We counted 12 wine coloured leather barstools and they were in relatively good condition.

Harp, Coors and Birra Moretti were just some of the drinks available on draught, while they also sell bars of chocolate.

Our designated driver is still whinging and complaining about having to fork out €1 for a Chomp bar.

“It’s clearly labelled 40c, that’s a cod of a racket,” he sulked in the corner.

The Young Commando inspected the rest of the pub and he told us there is a spacious room at the rear of the pub containing two dart boards, a large screen TV, a pool table, a jukebox and a huge heater.

It wasn’t overly busy in this section as the majority of the customers were in the front bar at the time.

The toilets were OK but there was no seat on the cubicle loo and the ceiling light was dangling quite low as the pendant had come loose from the roof.

This should be fixed immediately as it could be hazardous.

We really enjoyed the atmosphere in the front bar and it was obvious the locals and the barmaid all shared a good rapport.

It began to get busier as we were ready to depart, but we’d seen and drank enough at that stage.

An enjoyable few pints in the south Galway town of Gort and we’ll be back.

Rating: Three pints out of Five

One for the road…

O’Donnell’s – Gort, Co. Galway

It’s hard to believe it has been almost six years since we visited O’Donnell’s in Gort for what we can only describe as a memorable session.

Fast forward from July 2017 and the front bar was still enjoying a busy trade, although some of the punters were a little worse for wear and a nightcap would have suited them better.

There was a mixed clientele of all ages and the barmaid was very friendly and served us without delay. The solid fuel stove kept us warm and the pints of Harp on draught brought back memories of some great nights in the 1980s for the Old Commando.

There are at least three TVs in the front bar and plenty of seating. The toilets were small but clean with three urinals and one cubicle.

Rating: Three pints out of Five

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