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Hoist a pint in one of Ireland's oldest pubs. Photo by: gettyimages.com

Ireland's top oldest and most charming pubs

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Hoist a pint in one of Ireland's oldest pubs. Photo by: gettyimages.com

There's nothing quite like an old-fashioned Irish pub, and the older the better -- a pint of plain, a glass of “Uisce Beatha” or just a place to rest your weary bones and soak up the atmosphere.

Ireland is full of old, authentic pubs, but we found a list of the official oldest pubs in the Emerald Isle.

Here are the oldest public-houses in the land:

The Brazen Head, Dublin

The Brazen Head, Dublin.

This pub is located just off the Liffey quays in Dublin, outside the city walls and near the original bridge of Dublin. It's believed to have been a tavern since 1178.

The historical and literary figures who have enjoyed a pint at the Brazen Head include James Joyce, Brendan Behan, Jonathan Swift , Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell and Michael Collins, to name just a few.

The Cock, Gormanstown, Co. Meath

The Cock, Gormanstown, Co. Meath.

It's believed that The Cock stands on the site of an old medieval inn. Therefore it has traded without interruption since the 1390s. The Cock has also proudly been run by 21 generations of the McCabe family.

T&H Doolans, Co. Waterford

T&H Doolans, Co. Waterford.

The oldest tavern in Waterford, this establishment is said to date to 1400. The walls in the lounge were built over 800 years ago by the Normans. The pub is officially under preservation as a historical site.

McHugh's, Belfast

McHugh's Bar, Belfast.

This is the oldest pub in the oldest building in Belfast. It dates from 1711. It's now a busy urban venue with a 100-seater restaurant, but the building itself dates back over 300 years.


Morahans, Ballinagare, Co. Roscommon

Morahan's, Ballinagare, Co. Roscommon.

The Morahans have been running this pub since 1641. This is the longest that an establishment has been run by the same family in Ireland.

Old Thatch, Killeagh, Co. Cork

Old Thatch, Killeagh, Co. Cork.

The Old Thatch is the oldest thatched pub in Ireland and has been in the same family since 1667. The ownership of this establishment can be dated back to the 1700s. However, in 1867 the owner John Conway was refused a license on the grounds that he was housing Fenians.

Grace Neill's, Donaghadee, Co. Down

Grace Neill's, Donaghadee, Co. Down.

This pub has the oldest title deeds, dating to 1611. To put that in perspective, Grace Neill’s had been open for nearly nine years when the English settlers landed in America.

Sean's Bar, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

On the site of a wattle alehouse, it is thought that Sean’s Bar dates back to 900. This is officially the oldest pub in Ireland and in fact the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Although most of the evidence found during excavations is now housed at the National Museum of Ireland, some of the self-minted coins from the original establishment can be seen in cases on the walls of the pub.

* See "Top 10 of Ireland: 250 lists about the Emerald Isle" by Eoghan Corry for more lists about Ireland. 

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