Thursday 20 July 2017

'I love the fact that Skerries is a small, close-knit community'


Ollie Grimes, a Skerries man through and through.
Ollie Grimes, a Skerries man through and through.

OLLIE GRIMES is such a well-known figure in Skerries that when he opened up his own pub in his beloved town, he simply called it 'Ollie's Place'.

The pub owner, cocktail mixer and part-time Jedward tribute act is Skerries through and through so when we looked around for the first person to take part in this new series of articles entitled 'My Fingal', who better than Ollie to share his thoughts about his town and his county? What follows is a few of Ollie's thoughts on what he loves about Skerries and Fingal and why he never sees himself leaving the town his family has called home for generations. 'I'm a true Skerries name. I'm a Grimes and that's a true Skerries name – I think we came in here with the Vikings so we have been around for quite a while. 'I grew up in the town centre. My father was a cabinet maker and a school teacher, Harry Grimes. He taught in the tech in Balbriggan and he held an AllIreland Mermaid sailing record. 'A few years back he was named as one of the top 100 sailors in the world. 'My dad built his own boats and when we were kids we would build model boats and spend time down at The Brook in Skerries playing with them on the water. 'I love Skerries. I love the fact that is is a small, close-knit community and even in the last few years, when it has grown, it has stayed closeknit. It is still a place where everyone says ' hello' to each other on the street and we all know each other. It still has a village feel. 'I got into cocktail mixing while working at the Coast Inn around 1986. There was a big cocktail scene in the 1980s because of the film and we started mixing cocktails on television shows like Gerry Ryan's Secrets and Nighthawks with Shay Healy.' 'In 2008 I opened Ollie's. It is the first pub where my name has been above the door. There are lots of fantastic pubs and restaurants in Skerries and it is a great place to come and have some seafood or enjoy a drink. 'When I was growing up in the town the amusements were a big thing. They don't open up as much now and I think they are missed. They brought a real buzz to the town during the summer with a lot of day-trippers coming in and people spending their holidays here and filling the caravan parks. 'But the harbour and the seaside are still fantastic places to visit, particularly when the weather is good. I have two young children, Ethan who is five and Rocco who is two and there is plenty of things for them to do when the sun is shining. 'Outside of the town we love to go up to Ardgillan Castle or visit Newbridge House with the kids and maybe take a picnic. Newbridge farm is a great place and the kids love it. 'I don't ever see myself leaving Skerries – I love it.'

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