Pubspy - Clonaslee, Co Laois | 

The €5 pints went down Feery well in Clonaslee, Laois - despite misleading signage

The Young Commando noticed a price list beside a second entrance, and the Guinness was being advertised for €4.50.

John Feery’s pub in Clonaslee, Co. Laois

PubspySunday World

John Feery – Clonaslee, Co Laois

This week we travelled 90 minutes west of Dublin to the small village of Clonaslee in north west Co Laois.

It was our first visit to the area since January 2017 and it’s hard to believe that’s more than six years ago.

However, after much debate in our pub-mobile, we couldn’t recall ever visiting John Feery’s pub.

“Pub Spy is 50 years on the go this year, we more than likely have come across it at some stage or another, but for the life of me I can’t remember.

“They’re all starting to look the same to me at this stage,” the Old Commando joked.

Feery’s bar was enjoying a lively trade when we opened the front door and we were welcomed immediately by the barman on duty who we think was named Colin.

He was friendly and took our order without delay, and although he was working alone throughout our stay he was well able to keep up with the demand from the punters while simultaneously controlling the music system — mostly country and western music, which pleased the Old Commando.

There were plenty of options available on draught, such as Rockshore and Carling alongside the usual drinks, and the creamy pints of Guinness set us back €5 each.

There were no seats available at the counter so we stood just inside the front for a few minutes.

The Young Commando was quick to notice a certain theme in the pub with a photo of Bobby Sands on display and an Ireland flag draped from the ceiling commemorating Long Kesh 1981.

“I often wonder if people in the 26 counties give much thought to what would have to change in a United Ireland,” the Young Commando said.

“I can’t see it ever happening [peacefully] but if it did, would nationalists be willing to take down those photos and remove those flags and rename GAA grounds?” he asked. “And that’s just the small stuff.”

We eventually moved to the second section of this pub where it was somewhat quieter and there was plenty of seating available.

The brown leather bench seating was in good condition but does have quite a vintage look about it.

The timber flooring looks newer and was very clean. There is a large screen TV on the back wall, the tables and chairs are at the counter, and our Commandos agreed that this was one of just two things they liked when Covid restrictions were introduced to pubs “all those years ago”.

“I always liked the idea of the table pushed up to the counter for convenience and I also liked the table service,” the Old Commando said.

“Everything else was a load of cobblers, though,” he muttered.

Apart from the republican items on display, there were Munster and Leinster rugby flags but we were surprised to see the Offaly GAA flag hanging, even if there was a Laois one too.

Our designated driver was on toilet inspection and he reported that they were small but clean with three urinals which were all lined with orange and lemon slices — we presume for odour control!

There is one cubicle containing a sink and dryer, which means if the cubicle is occupied you have nowhere to wash and dry your hands. Well nowhere we could see, anyway.

The Young Commando noticed a price list beside a second entrance, and the Guinness was being advertised for €4.50.

It’s important that publicans update their price lists accordingly, for legal reasons, too.

Rating: Three pints out of Five

One for the road…

Fallon’s – Clonaslee

WE’RE no strangers to Fallon’s bar in Clonaslee, although with the way the two heavyset gentlemen at the front door were staring at us you’d think we had just arrived from outer space.

We had eyes on us throughout our stay but that didn’t deter us from sampling the porter and enjoying the superb atmosphere as the locals engaged in a sing-song.

There wasn’t a seat to be found so we stood beside the counter as the all-male clientele kept the young barmaid on her toes.

There are two TVs in the bar but both were switched off and also a dartboard, but nobody was throwing on this occasion.

The toilets contained a ceramic urinal and one cubicle but the electric dryer wasn’t working.

As we departed and closed the front door behind us, we overheard the two husky detectives pass comment on our presence.

Are non-locals not welcome?

Rating: Three pints out of Five

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