Wednesday 19 June 2019

Watch: Irish pub owner hits back at Pub Spy's harsh critique with hilarious parody video

The video ends in a make shift futuristic decor, but owner Gerald Hough said they have no plans to change the pub's layout.
The video ends in a make shift futuristic decor, but owner Gerald Hough said they have no plans to change the pub's layout.

Callum Lavery

Many pubs have been known to turn the other cheek when it comes to a harsh review from the renowned 'Pub Spy'.

But one Co Offaly pub decided they weren't prepared to sit back when given a bad review from the Sunday World's long running column - and it seems like they've had the last laugh.

JJ Hough's in Banagher, Co Offaly, is now getting massive publicity, not because of the negative review, but for their repsonse.

Instead of biting their tongue, the bar's owners decided to hit back with a hilarious video responding to the critic's qualms.


Owner Gerald Hough said the video was an opportunity to turn a "negative into a positive," after they already had a run-in with the PubSpy writer 10 years earlier.

Outside of JJ Hough's Banagher, Co. Offaly
Outside of JJ Hough's Banagher, Co. Offaly

"When I was sent a WhatsApp picture of the Sunday World's PubSpy review, I immediately saw an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

"Its not often businesses, in this case a small rural pub, gets the chance to answer back to a large media organisation's harsh critique.

JJ Hough Review.png
The review of the pub.

"This was the second time PubSpy has visited us, about 10 years ago they gave us zero and said upon entering the pub was akin to entering a mine shaft.

"That was probably the busiest summer we ever had because of all the publicity we received.” he laughed

"On this occasion they mocked the decor and wondered if the pub had ever received a makeover.

"I thought here's my opportunity."

In the video Mr Hough responded to critiques of the floor and decorations of the pub in a hilarious fashion by destroying the pictures and vases dusting the pub's shelves.

"One local historians' studies indicate the Pub had been a monastery in the 14th Century, and parts of that original floor remain.

"They say beauty is in the eye of the Beholder, but PubSpy simply saw a bare concrete floor. You cant' learn taste.

"I decided to parody this by taking their advice and doing dome DIY renovations. My mother Sheila is a  former Athlone IT art lecturer, she painted me a mock Mona Lisa, which we dubbed, 'Bored Na Mona', which quickly got punched.

"Unfortunately the 'Ming Vase' I smashed [in the video] was in fact 200 years old and had been passed down through Hough generations. They weren't too please when I destroyed it."

JJ Houghs.png
The video ends in a make shift futuristic decor, but owner Gerald Hough said they have no plans to change the pub's layout.

The pub is well known for its live music and posting annual parody Christmas advertisements. All the videos produced for the pub were created by Mr Hough himself.

"Anyone who is in the pub helps out.

"There is no professional acting. I come up with the idea myself and do all the filming and editing.

"I was going to upload the CCTV footage and call it ‘PubSpy exposed” and get customers to recreate the  experience, but I decided not to, lucky for them.

"It is all a bit of craic more than anything."

Luckily, Mr Hough said the pub has no plans to make any changes any time soon, beside plans to renovate the men's bathroom

"The building is a heritage building and is protected and listed.

"We won't be changing anything as we don't want the place looking plastic.

"As Brendan Behan once said 'Critics are like eunuchs in a harem, they know how its done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves'."

Online Editors

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