Some wanted to travel to the countryside and some wanted to stay in Dublin. After much back and forth our designated driver had the casting vote and he simply informed us to "go get into the car - I know somewhere that'll keep you all happy."
As the pub-mobile passed by Dublin airport we thought perhaps he was taking us abroad. That would certainly have made us all happy, but he kept driving.
"Half of you wanted to stay in Dublin and half of you wanted to go to the countryside so we're going to Oldtown - you're all getting what you wanted," he said.
For our Rural Commando this was a first. Not only had he never been to Oldtown, he'd never been to countryside Dublin.
He has long associated Dublin with hustle and bustle, busy streets and noisy traffic. He couldn't believe his eyes when we told him he was still inside the boundary of Co Dublin as our designated driver parked our wagon in the spacious car park adjacent to the pub.
If you didn't know where you were going, or you weren't planning to go to Ballyboughal, you would actually miss the turnoff for this pub.
We're glad we didn't though as it turned out to be one the best days out we've had since returning to the road last August. Eugene, the barman, was working alone despite it being very busy but you could tell it wasn't his first day on the job.
He was cool, calm and had everything under control. The pints of Guinness cost €4.90 and the Old Commando claimed they were worth every cent. "The Guinness is tops and the surroundings even nicer," he said as he looked on at the Dublin GAA memorabilia throughout the pub.
A framed and signed Dublin number 5 jersey hangs just inside the front door with numerous Dublin SAM number plates on the opposite side of the floor.
Dublin's U21 champions of 2012 are honoured alongside the ladies team of 2017. The Bomber Liston and the late Mick Holden are photographed grabbing for a ball in the 1979 All-Ireland football final and the Old Commando loved the photo of the late Jim Stynes in action for the Dubs in 1984.
"Two men taken from us far too soon," he said sombrely. There's certainly a sporting culture in this pub and it's not confined to Dublin GAA either.
Offaly's Shane Lowry and Wicklow's Katie Taylor also feature proudly on the wall. The atmosphere was fantastic among the predominately male clientele and the red leather barstools were in good condition too.
Much of the conversation surrounded today's National League game with the All-Ireland champions Tyrone and the general consensus was that anything other than a victory could compel Dublin to Division 2 for 2023.
"We were spoiled for too long," one punter joked. Our Young Commando carried out the customary toilet inspection before we departed and he told us the toilets are small but the four urinals and cubicle were all clean.
We had a great time in this pub and we'd love to call again some day.
Rating: Four pints out of Five
One for the road
Gormley’s - Garristown
THIS was another first for our Commandos — a trip to Garristown and the beautiful Gormley’s pub.
Our stay here was far too brief and a vow was made by Pub Spy and the team before we left that we will most certainly be back here again. This is a hidden gem in north county Dublin and easily one of our favourite pubs to visit in a very long time.
The smoking area at the front of the pub is exceptional and must have worked a treat during the Covid era of restrictions. However, the interior was even more impressive and special. The stone wall interiors are lovely and the huge open fire inside the front door was burning tree trunks rather than small logs.
There was a brilliant atmosphere in the front bar. The Old Commando noticed a GAA photo of the local football team that won the 1998 Intermediate football league with player/manager Barney Rock in tow. This boozer is not far from a five star rating and we’ll be back.
Rating: Four pints out of Five