Tuesday 18 September 2018

'Times have changed a lot' - one of Ireland's oldest barmaids (98) pulls pints for the first time on Good Friday

Maura Hallinan will be serving punters on this historic Good Friday
Nana's/Facebook
Maura Hallinan will be serving punters on this historic Good Friday Nana's/Facebook
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

NINETY-EIGHT year old Maura Hallinan was given the honour of pulling the first pint on Good Friday in Cork.

Maura performed the honours in Nana's Bar which has recently opened on Douglas Street in Cork city centre.

Nana's is operated by Maura's grandson, Stephen Hackett.

Pulling the perfect pint wasn't anything special to Maura as she ran the hugely successful KLM Bar on the Low Road in Cork for decades.

However, Maura admitted she has mixed feelings about Irish pubs being able to open on Good Friday for the first time in 91 years.

"I'm not sure if it is a good thing or not," she said.

Pubs are legally allowed to open for the first time since 1927 on Good Friday (stock photo)
Pubs are legally allowed to open for the first time since 1927 on Good Friday (stock photo)

"Being closed for two or three days a year isn't much to ask."

Maura was nearing her seventh birthday when the 1927 Good Friday pub closure legislation was introduced - and all Irish pubs remained closed for the day for the next 91 years.

"Times have changed a lot. On a Sunday you would never open until after Mass - and then you would have to close for an hour in the afternoon," she said.

"Maybe for the pubs it is a good thing now to be able to open on Good Friday - they have no fear of the guards now knocking on the door."

"People long ago used to decorate their pubs on Good Friday."

"We used to close. My husband died in 1977 and, after that, I used to get somebody in to paint the pub on Good Friday."

"We used to polish the tables and all that kind of thing."

Maura admitted she was taken aback at being told she was making history by pulling the first pint in Nana's on Good Friday.

"I didn't realise it that," she joked.

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