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Travel website Lonely Planet announces list of 20 best pubs in Ireland

Lonely Planet has included watering holes across the island which are best known "for pints, music and the time of your life”

Publican Tom Mulligan of The Cobblestone pub in Smithfield, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Friends enjoy a few pints at the bar of John Kavanagh's pub in Glasnevin, Dublin. Picture by Mark Condren

Inside the ‘Gravediggers’ pub beside Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

The late Oliver 'Mac', seated out the back of his famous family pub, Dick Mack's, Dingle. Photo by Valerie O'Sullivan.

Paul Hyland

The world-renowned travel website Lonely Planet has announced its list of the 20 best pubs in Ireland.

Lonely Planet has included watering holes across the island which are best known "for pints, music and the time of your life”.

The Gravediggers, Dublin

The Glasnevin institution is first up and has been included on the prestigious list for its “excellent pint and Irish tapas” in particular.

Run by the seventh generation of the Kavanagh family, the Gravediggers got its name because of its proximity to Glasnevin cemetery and the passing trade it benefitted from as a result.

The Gravediggers pub in Glasnevin, Dublin

Teach Hiúdaí Beag, Co Donegal

Nestled in the heart of the gaeltacht, Irish is mainly spoken in Teach Hiúdaí Beag which is famous for its “legendary” trad sessions.

Located just 10 minutes’ walk from Gaoth Dobhair's most famous beaches, Lonely Planet said it’s the ideal location to “wipe off the cobwebs”.

De Barra's Folk Club, Clonakilty, Co Cork

The travel website has echoed Christy Moore who likened De Barra’s as the “Carnegie Hall of Co Cork”.

It said walking through the premises is like “walking into a musical history museum” and recommended leaving time to explore “picturesque” Clonakilty as well.

The Moorings, Dungarvan, Co Waterford

“Gin cocktails overlooking the sea” has earned The Moorings its spot.

The Dungarvan pub has also been highlighted for its seafood chowder and outdoor courtyard bar which is bordered by the castle walls of King John’s Castle that was built in the 12th century.

O'Connell's, Skryne, Co Meath

Famously featured on Guinness’s iconic Christmas ad, Lonely Planet says the famous pub – which has been in the O’Connell family for 170 years – has changed very little through the generations. “It still boasts of having no TV and no internet.”

Dick Mack’s, Dingle, Co Kerry

First established in 1899, Dick Mack’s is one of Dingle’s destination pubs and has featured numerous times on the RTÉ music programme Other Voices.

Dick Mack's pub in Dingle, Co Kerry

Lonely Planet said the pub offers a fine selection of drinks, a leather shop and twice-daily brewery tours.

Morrissey's, Abbeyleix, Co Laois

Social media users have been encouraged to stop by Morrissey’s for an Instagram snap, if nothing else, as the Abbeyleix watering hole “transports you back to the 1900s”.

"A hotchpotch of oddities lines the shelves above the pew seats and pot-belly stove. It's a wonderful place to soak up the atmosphere with a pint or a coffee,” Lonely Planet said.

Thomas Connolly, Sligo town

Connolly’s has been recommended for WB Yeats lovers who want to “raise a glass to the great writer”.

The pub has been shortlisted for its “famous pints of stout, regular live music and an ever-growing range of over 200 premium Irish whiskeys and scotch”.

Mickey Finn’s Pub, Co Wicklow

Mickey Finn's has been included for its spectacular location in the Avoca Valley and its warm open fires.

The pub is situated beside the Wicklow Brewery and comes with pairing suggestions, such as Wicklow Black Stout beef pie paired with a Black 16.

JJ Houghs Singing Pub, Banagher, Co Offaly

The 250-year-old JJ Houghs has been included for its its charm and the warm welcome of its owner. Lonely Planet said: “JJ's also serves pizza and cocktails, and by all accounts, the espresso martinis are a house special.”

The Rusty Mackerel, County Donegal

The traditional Irish pub on the foot of Sliabh Liag serves up great drinks and seasonal food, including the spicy fillet of mackerel.

The Rusty Mackerel is also well known for its live music sessions and guest accommodation.

Street 66, Dublin

Lonely Planet has described Street 66 as an “atmospheric LGBTQ+ bar with great music”.

It said the bar is a “safe space” to have coffee, an “invigorating drink” or even a dance on Fridays and Saturdays to some “banging tunes”.

Sunflower Public House, Belfast

Owned by Argentina-born Pedro Donald. the Sunflower is described as “a no-nonsense, no gimmick pub” that “it bills itself as a simple corner pub”.

Tigh Neachtain, Galway city

One of Galway’s best-known people-watching spots, Neachtains has been singled out for its “live music sessions”.

Lonely Planet says: “If you can get a seat inside, you might never leave.”

O'Loclainn's Irish Whiskey Bar, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare

The travel website said O'Loclainn's offers a “magical tipple in quaint settings”.

With 500 bottles, visitors can also look through old labels and take a trip down memory lane.

Clarke & Sons, Drogheda, Co Louth

Filled with "candlelit nooks and crannies”, the cosy interiors at Clarke & Sons are enhanced by “the pub’s aged dark wood”.

Lonely Planet said “patrons can lose themselves amidst the music and candlelight”.

Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh

Game of Thrones fans can get a photo with the specially carved door at Blakes in Enniskillen.

The pub is also well known for its Irish coffee, original snugs and live music.

The Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin

One of Dublin’s most iconic trad pubs, The Cobblestone is “not to be missed” according to the travel website, which also highlighted the high-profile campaign last year that stopped it being redeveloped.

Mother Macs, Limerick City

Visitors to Mother Macs have been warned that it “doesn’t serve food” but instead is worth a trip for its 150 Irish whiskeys, whiskey-tasting events and craft beer.

The Duke of York, Belfast

A favourite for locals, Lonely Planet says: “Tucked down a cobbled lane in Belfast city centre is the Duke of York, known for its colourful flowers outside and original mirrors and memorabilia inside.”

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