Tuesday 20 March 2018

Letters: Raising a glass to a character from the past

‘Drinking the juice of the barley in such pleasant company is priceless’.
‘Drinking the juice of the barley in such pleasant company is priceless’.

Letters to the editor

The Government's latest attempt to curb the sale of cheap alcohol reminded me of one of the many stories my late father told me about the customers who patronised the family pub in Tralee. The stories were embellished with each telling, but were all the better for it.

Michael McCarthy - not his real name - arrived at the bar counter at 8pm every evening. He drank three pints of Guinness between his arrival and closing time. He enjoyed the company of his fellow drinkers discussing Austin Stacks football, greyhounds, horse racing and the news of the day. He then walked back to his home, where he lived alone.

The time came when the price of the pint was increased from 11 old pence to a shilling. When my father broke the bad news about the increase, the drinkers jocosely called down every misfortune on the powers that be above in Dublin, but the porter continued to flow regardless. Making his way to Michael, who was sitting contentedly on a stool, Dad asked: "Will you still follow the pint at the new price, Michael?"

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