Quirkiness pervades its atmosphere. The ashes of a US tourist are interred in its clock. Barmen have seen ghosts on the premises. For decades, performers at the Theatre Royal thronged to Mulligan’s, mingling with journalists from ‘The Irish Press’ who smoked, fumed and interviewed celebrities in it.
This fascinating pub encapsulates an atmosphere and essence loved by both natives and tourists alike. Customers will regale you with lore and lies of the days of half a century ago when doughty dockers from the great port rubbed shoulders with the celebrities from the world famous Theatre Royal across the street, the newspaper men from de Valera’s Irish Press Group next door and the freshmen from the local and ancient Trinity College, who in banter (now called craic) got the ‘hard times’ from the other groups at the bar.
Many of these then students, now eminent men and women in many walks of life across the world, continue to return for a drink and to enquire about their ‘tormentors’. You can learn more about Mulligans from the excellent new book by Declan Dunne on this famous Dublin phenomenon, available on Amazon.
John F. Kennedy when he was a journalist with the Hearst Newspapers, shortly before he became junior senator for Massachusetts, visited in the mid 1950s to be shown Joyce’s favourite perch at the bar.
Thousands have come since and are still coming to pay homage at the literary shrine.
The great and the good and the not so great and quite probably the not so good have all frequented Mulligans and still do. Anyone who has ever gone out drinking in Dublin will have at some time passed through our doors.
Down through the generations the Mulligans crowd has ebbed and flowed and swelled to the rhythm of the city and the nation itself.
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The Mulligans crew have been around a long time but, we hasten to add, like the place itself they have aged gracefully.
You’ll find here the easy familiarity of a master with his craft, just like the barmen of old – friendly, lightning fast and ever ready with a razor sharp wit.
Dublin has always been famous for its wit and there’s nowhere more Dublin than Mulligans.
One late night in the early 1960s the generosity and hospitality of the house exceeded what the gardai thought were legitimate licensing hours. As the raiding police banged on the street door a celebrated senior barman Tommy McDonnell, universally known as ‘Briscoe’, ordered all his pickled customers to retire with their drinks to the cellar before he welcomed the law onto the premises. The inspector and two rookies, still suspicious, in due course withdrew having done their duty but were told years later that in the Catholic Ireland of the day that they could have stumbled upon on a ‘scandal’.
The Abbot of Kilnacrott Abbey was on his second bottle of claret on the premises – albeit in a private area upstairs. The abbot was a regular if discreet guest on his visits to Dublin on his community’s business.