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Friday 22 November 2019

Declan unearths Wexford links in book on famous old pub

Wexford author Declan Dunne, has written a new book 'Mulligan's - Grand Old Pub of Poolbeg Street' in which his native county is well-represented.

A son of Tomás Ó Duinn, editor of the Enniscorthy Echo in the mid-1970s, Declan went to school at CBS Wexford and St Peter's College. His family home was on High Street situated close to the Theatre Royal. He is now chief sub-editor in the RTÉ newsroom.

He acquired much of the information regarding the recent history of Mulligan's from a fellow county man, Seán O'Donohoe, from Clonegal village, who worked in Mulligan's for 12 years from 1951 to 1963, provided insights into the lives of Brendan Behan, Eamon Andrews and the boxer, Jack Doyle. O'Donohoe is now 90 years old and lives in Dublin.

However, the link between Wexford and Mulligan's goes back even further. The 1911 census records two people from the county working on the premises; Edward Kealy (25) and Ellen Williams (54). The author James Joyce left Ireland in 1904 but made a visit back in 1909 when he may have been served by one or both of the County Wexford natives as he visited his old haunts including Mulligan's.

The pub became associated with James Joyce because it features prominently in Counterparts which forms part of a collection of short stories in his book, Dubliners.

Declan Dunne's previous book, 'Peter's Key - Peter DeLoughry and the fight for Irish independence' told the story of the Kilkenny republican who made the key that allowed Éamon de Valera and two others to escape from Lincoln Jail in 1919.

This latest work gives the fascinating history of Mulligan's which was founded in 1782 and is a favourite of GAA fans, journalists and actors. The author and Evening Press columnist, Con Houlihan, was famously associated with the pub.

John F. Kennedy drank there in 1947 and Judy Garland in 1952 during a week of performances at the Theatre Royal which stood opposite Mulligan's.

'Mulligan's - the grand old pub of Poolbeg Street' by Declan Dunne is published by Mercier Press, and is available in all good bookshops and also online in eBook format from the usual outlets.

Wexford People

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