From Abu Dhabi to Zimbabwe, the Irish pub is an global phenomenon. One Irish town in particular springs to mind when we think of traditional Irish pubs. That town is Dingle, in Kerry.
Dingle is the proud home to over 50 pubs. There's one for every 40 residents!
Here are my favourites...
1. Dick Mack's
Dick Mack's is probably one of the most well-known pubs in Dingle. Stars such as Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum, and Julia Roberts have all visited. Its colourful exterior certainly is distinctive!
Named after the current owner's father, this family pub shares a premises with a small leather shop. Alongside your pint of beer, you can choose from an array of handcrafted leather boots, belts, and key fobs.
2. Foxy John's
You may be surprised after walking through the front door of Foxy John's.
There's a traditional bar to your left. Guinness taps. Shelf of whiskey. The usual bar stools.
To your right you'll find the local Dingle hardware store. Nowadays this combination of pub and shop might seem bizarre. But it was the norm in Ireland in the past. Many's the man who strolled up the road to Foxy's to pick up a bag of nails but ended up getting hammered!
3. The Mighty Session
The Mighty Session does exactly what it says on the tin!
This pub is famous for Irish traditional music. It benefits from a nice, open interior. So when you get the uncontrollable urge to dance, there's plenty of space to fling yourself around.
As with most Dingle pubs, the Irish traditional music sessions start at '9-ish'. Translation = anytime between 9 and closing.
There are few pubs in Dingle that compare with O'Flahertys.
Under the stewardship of publican Fergus Flaithbheartaigh, O'Flaherty's is a mecca for traditional Irish music.
Strains of the session continuously colour the night air. Music sessions here are plentiful and visiting musicians are welcome.
5. O'Sullivans Court House Pub
O'Sullivans has to be my all time favourite for traditional Irish music pubs in Dingle.
Even on the quietest nights, you'll be nicely packed-in here like huddled penguins.
Enjoy a nice mix of locals and visitors in the O'Sullivan's crowd. A low ceiling really adds to the atmosphere too.
You are guaranteed world class musicians and singers. Beautiful ballads silence everyone. A pumping bódhran beat will make your feet tap uncontrollably.
Loving the music? Let it all out! A loud "Yeeeeewww" at the top of your lungs is the accepted form of appreciation.
Irish Pub History
Traditionally, the Irish pub lay at the centre of a community's social life. Music. Storytelling. Romance. Craic. And, perhaps, the odd brawl. Nowadays, we've added wifi and good food to that list!
Pubs in Dingle are no different. The thing that makes this list so special is that they are open to all. Traditional pubs are the perfect arena in which travellers can engage with Irish culture.
Try opening a conversation with your fellow pub-goers. You'll be surprised at how friendly people are. This blending of different cultures, languages and smiles that makes Irish pubs great. Be part of the experience!