celeb boozer | 

Damien Duff latest big name to drop into Conor McGregor’s Black Forge pub

Shelbourne manger Duff looked proud as punch brandishing one of McGregor’s UFC title winning belts

Damien Duff brandishing the belt

Eugene MastersonSunday World

Ireland football legend Damien Duff is the latest big name to drop into what is fast becoming a hotspot for stars in Dublin – Conor McGregor’s Black Forge Inn.

Shelbourne manger Duff looked proud as punch brandishing one of McGregor’s UFC title winning belts on his right shoulder during a visit to the Crumlin pub.

Duff is the latest well-known personality to visit McGregor’s hostelry, which the fighter spent €2m on purchasing and another €1m in refurbishing into a top gastropub.

Others who’ve flocked in the fast year to what has become a celebrity boozer include American comedian Kevin Hart, Arsenal legend Ian Wright, singer James Arthur, rapper Coolio, professional poker player and social media king Dan Bilzerian, Celtic stalwart John Hartson and Australian reality star Harry Jowsey.

McGregor purchased the Black Forge Inn in 2019, it having been was a favourite haunt of his when he was growing up in the area and then known as The Bentley.

He has since bought two other pubs in the capital, the Marble Arch in Drimnagh and the Waterside in Howth. The MMA fighter and his family are currently holidaying on his yachts in the Mediterranean.


Duff’s visit to the Black Forge is the first known publicly of any top name associated with the Ireland football team.

The 43-year-old scored eight goals for Ireland and is the fifth most capped player for his country, with 100 caps.

He was named Ireland’s player of the tournament of the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea, while at Euro 2012 in Poland he made his farewell to international soccer when he captained the team at our final game against Italy

Duff also played for Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea and Newcastle before coming home to play for Shamrock Rovers and retiring as a player in 2015.

He then went into coaching, including stints at Celtic and Shamrock Rovers, and was also assistant manager to Stephen Kenny with Ireland before stepping down earlier this year. He has since become manager of Shelbourne.

He is also a regular football pundit with RTÉ, having commentated on the 2016 and 2020 Euro tournaments as well as 2018 World Cup.

Ballyboden born Damien married wife Elaine in Somerset in 2010 and the couple have two sons, Woody and Darcy. They live in a mansion in the foothills of the Dublin mountains.

Woody was born with a hole in his heart which led to him having surgery at just six months.

Duff has spoken about how the hours in the waiting room of the hospital were the toughest of his life.

The procedure was thankfully a complete success and Woody's life hasn't been inhibited from it.

Damien has since regularly supported Children's Heart Ireland and while coaching at Shamrock Rovers, donated his reported €150,00 salary to the charity as well as Temple Street Hospital.

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