Ger Hough chats about the difference between Irish publicans of today and yesteryear, and how he has used social media both to pursue his passion for creativity, and as a means of advertising his pub, the legendary J.J. Houghs. 

J.J. Houghs Singing Pub in Banagher, Co Offaly is a legend among Irish pubs. For years, the place has been famed for its authentic Irish pub experience, a place of good times, superb music, and great beer too! 

JJ Houghs Singing Pub

JJ Houghs Singing Pub

More recently, the current proprietor Ger Hough has copper-fastened this legendry status by producing short films that have gone viral on social media and featured on national media in Ireland and on U.S. news channels such as ABC. 

Publican Ger Hough

Publican Ger Hough

Indeed, it seems an entrepreneurial and creative spirit runs in Mr. Hough's family. His Granddad spotted the opportunity to attract tourists into the pub by having his children play music and sing as they passed. His father and mother added to this by improving the pub's authentic feel and reinforcing its reputation as a place of sing songs and tradtional music. And as he tells Sheila Hoctor - co-host of The Hut Near The Bog podcast - "through social media, I am adding in my own way [to the legacy of the pub]."

Music and singing at JJ Hough's. (JJ Hough Singing Pub, Facebook)

Music and singing at JJ Hough's. (JJ Hough Singing Pub, Facebook)

Mr. Hough claims while he does love the pub, he can find the job stressful at times, and says if he wasn't a publican, he would have pursued a career as a "filmmaker" or "creative writer."

Yet, through social media, he has found a way to follow his passion in his work life and to create an "online mythology" which enables him to advertise the pub. 

In the podcast, Mr. Hough also talks about the difference between publicans today and of yesteryear. 

"Standards have elevated so much. We did not even have a glasswasher or icemaker up until the 2000s. We used to have to fill bags of ice and put them in the freezer in my auntie's shop up the town. And so, one of the big jobs was popping the ice. Your thumbs would be gone numb! People were lucky to get a clean glass, let alone ice with their drink!"

Joining our Houghtail menu is the delicious Espresso Martini, Call in and sample one this Mothers Day #houghtails #espressomartini #mothersday #banagher #offaly #jjhoughssingingpub #houghs #jjhoughs

Publiée par JJ Houghs Singing Pub sur Jeudi 28 mars 2019

The pub now offers everything from pizza to cocktails and Mr. Hough does not believe this takes away from the authentic feel of the place "as a choice is a good thing at the end of the day!"

Ger Hough's full interview for The Hut Near The Bog podcast is available to listen to for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts!

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