A visit to Dublin would not be complete without visiting some of our famous pubs.
Take for example 'Davy Byrne's, on Duke Street. Its history is rich and colourful. James Joyce regulary visited the premises. Many other Irish literary figures visited the premises for example, James Stephens, Liam O'Flaherty, Brendan Behan and other Irish writers, enjoyed its hospitality.
During the War of Independence and Civil War the premises was visited regularly by Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith.
Davy Byrne retired in 1939, and in 1942 the pub was bought by the Doran family. Davy Byrne's decor is original, and pre-Second World War in theme. It has an excellent art collection, one can appreciate the three educational murals of Joycean Dublin by Liam Proud. Murals of the 1940's by Brendan Behan's father-in-law and the sculptures of Eddie Delaney and John Behan. On inspection of the murals you will notice the man, Davy Byrne himself.
Since 'Ulysses' publication in 1922 there has been a constant literary pilgrimage to Davy Byrne's. The 16th of June (Bloomsday) is a special occasion for literary tourists, where they can experience its richness.
Situated on Duke street, it takes it's title from the little street named after the 2nd Duke of Grafton providing refreshment and sustenance since 1822.
By 1845, across the street, Fishbourne and Bianconi, had the exclusive rights on all coach travel to every town south of Carlow. During this coaching trade boom, The Duke was known as the National Hotel and Tavern.
In the 1890's the premises underwent a Victorian renovation which is largely preserved to this day.
It has enjoyed the company of literary greats such as Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh and Myles Na gCopoleen. However, while they enjoyed the premises they found each others company slightly tiring, so as a general rule. the presence of one was dictated by the the absence of the other two.
'THE PALACE BAR'
The Palace Bar on 21 Fleet Street, Dublin 2. was built in 1823. It's one of Dublin's original Victorian pubs.
In more modern times in the 40's, 50's and 60's the Irish Times staffers would visit the snug to compose articles and meet " sources". To this day it is a popular place for some journalists.
The Palace Bar has natural character. In the early morning on a sunny day you can see the stained glass windows lighting up the old mahogany back bar. Its Romanesque arches and mirrors make for an enchanting ambience.
"When I first came to Dublin in 1939, I thought the Palace was the most wonderful temple of art" Patrick Kavanagh. The Palace Bar is still in possession of an old cheque that Kavanagh wrote. The poet Seamus Heaney dropped into the 'Palace' for his odd pint.
The literary tradition of the Palace continues to this day. Flann O'Brien and Patrick Kavanagh continue to be remembered. A Kavanagh play takes place in the upstairs bar on occasion and the' Flann O'Brien Day' with readings from his novels taking place once a year.
'THE BRAZEN HEAD'
Located at 20, Bridge Street Lower, Dublin. 8. It is officially Ireland's oldest pub dating back to 1198. Here you can enjoy it's sense of history. It's patrons, included such literaries as James Joyce, Brendan Behan and Jonathan Swift. Revolutionaries such as Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell and Michael Collins also enjoyed refreshments and many a lively conversation was held here.
In more modern time The Brazen Head has established itself as one of Dublin's best live music venues. Many famous musicians have played here over the years such as the Dubliners, The Hothouse Flowers and Tom Jones at the' Guinness 250' year celebrations. Musicians from all over Ireland come together here to share their love of Irish music both traditional and contemporary. It is not unknown for some musicians to pop in for an impromptu session.
You can enjoy an evening of food, folklore and storytelling. Enter into a world of imagination with wonderful tales about Irish life in times past. This wonderful evening now includes live traditional Irish music and ballads.
I hope you came on this journey with me of some Dublin's interesting pubs but why not make your own journey and memories. These a just a few of our more interesting pubs. Experience a pint of guinness or Irish coffee. Enjoy the history and ambience of these pubs. I know you will not be disappointed.