Morrissey’s Bar…

4th February 2010
Pól Ó Conghaile


Morrissey’s Pub in Abbeyleix  is a creature you feel will soon be extinct.

Step inside, and your eyes take a second to adjust to the darkness. Slowly, shapes and forms materialise in the blackness, and you materialise in 1911.

There are shelves running to the ceiling; stocked with sweet jars, cereal boxes, whiskeys, old brands like Bovril, Bird’s Custard and Bacheler’s Peas. A large meat cutter on the counter is at once like something out of League of Gentleman and a wholesome Denny ad.

There are musty antiques, wooden divisions encircling an old pot-bellied stove; a blood-coloured burgundy ceiling; a locked door bearing the sign: ‘snug’. The bartenders wear white grocers’ coats, dishing up pints of plainand bags of pear drops.  

There’s an old black phone, a list of staff stretching from 1850 into the 1980s. There’s a roll of brown paper beneath the till,  an old bike mounted over the door with the legend ‘Edward J Morrissey, Family Grocer’ on it. 

The only uneasy fit is a flat-screen TV.

The Dublin-Cork traffic crawls by outside. A young bartender nods at a cabal of customers: ‘Same again, yeah?’