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The barstools stand empty, the chatter stilled for now

Liam Collins


As Ireland's pubs closed, the realisation of just how much some of us love them became very apparent, writes Liam Collins

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Thirsty work: Liam Collins enjoying a pint of Guinness in The Swan on Aungier Street, Dublin. Photo: David Conachy

Thirsty work: Liam Collins enjoying a pint of Guinness in The Swan on Aungier Street, Dublin. Photo: David Conachy

Thirsty work: Liam Collins enjoying a pint of Guinness in The Swan on Aungier Street, Dublin. Photo: David Conachy

There I was, last Sunday, sitting outside the Blue Light having a quiet pint looking at the panorama of the city below after a tramp across the mountain. Then word came through that the pubs were closing and a lifelong love affair was coming to a dramatic, if temporary, halt.

Looking at the shifting shadows over Dublin Bay, Howth and beyond, all I could contemplate was my semi-dissolute past and the part the pub plays in the Irish psyche, from celebrations and funerals to giving directions via well-known pubs to the lost traveller.

Some may think it's sad that so much of one's life revolves around the pub: a walk in the Dublin Mountains inevitably ends up in the Blue Light, an afternoon cycle with a pint in Finnegan's of Dalkey, a late Sunday afternoon drink in the convivial Conways of Blackrock.