Glyde Inn crowned Irish Pub of the Year
Conor O'Neill is seldom stuck for something to say, but he's the first to admit he was lost for words when his parents' business the Glyde Inn, based in Annagassan Co. Louth, won the overall Irish Pub Awards National Irish Pub of the Year 2018.
The Co. Louth pub was crowned national champion after winning the Best Food Pub, one of nine categories announced at the recent awards.
"I really do think it is the first time in my life I didn't know what to say, and I think I'll have to watch the video back to see what actually came out of my mouth," says Conor with a laugh.
"To be honest, we went along to the awards for the craic and to have a great night with the team, and the last thing we expected was to win. I nearly fell off the chair when our name was announced. This doesn't happen to a small pub, in a small village in the smallest county in Ireland."
But it appears it does, and the award was presented by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, at the Gala Ceremony in the RDS Concert Hall on November 21st.
The Glyde Inn dates back to 1770 and the pub was bought by Paul and Anne O'Neill in 1978 who still operate it in an "authentic, untouched and unhurried" manner.
It soon became a destination pub with a reputation for good food, drink, music and craic.
In 2008, the O'Neills extended the premises to include the Linn Duachaill Restaurant and a Bed and Breakfast, overlooking Dundalk Bay and the Mountains of Mourne.
While Paul and Anne look after the Bed and Breakfast, the restaurant and pub are now managed by their son Conor.
Their award winning menu also includes seafood caught by fishermen in Dundalk Bay and Carlingford, some of which is flavoured from experience gained by Conor during food trips to continental Europe.
Each September, The Glyde Inn hosts The Taste of Togher Festival, as part of The Discover Boyne Valley Flavours events.
'We are so thrilled with the award, but it really goes to everyone who works here, as our success is a team effort, from front of house, to the kitchen, to the bar and waiting staff,' adds Conor.
'I was so shocked I totally forgot to thank the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) and the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) for hosting us and for awarding us this fantastic honour.'