In many ways the pub is the glue that holds Irish social life
together. "Going for a pint" is something of a national pastime. A local only
needs to nod at a barman coming through the door in order to order a drink and a
finger in the air is shorthand for a pint of Guinness.
It offers the chance to meet up with friends, share stories, and
get away from the pressures of work and the opportunity for the unexpected to
happen. No two nights are the same and it is primarily a social affair, an
institution in which all can share.
Traditional music often provides a backdrop to the murmur of
conversation and friendly encounters. While the traditional type of bar is still
very much in evidence, especially in the countryside punters have never had so
much competition for their patronage.
The pub culture is a quintessential part of the Irish experience
and will become immediately obvious to the visitor - but whatever you do
remember the key rule of travelling - never pass a pub with your name on it.