This book goes down memory lane. Walter loved to sketch people, especially musicians, enjoying a pint of Guinness and a Jameson at the same time.
He left us more than 500 sketches. And because we were always on bicycles our radius was quite small. There were four pubs where he did most of his drawings: O’Connor’s, McGann’s and McDermott’s in Doolin and The Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna.
The sketches in this book are from sessions at O’Connor’s pub in Doolin.
Walter drawing a bodhran player in June 2003
The idea of making a book with Walter’s sketches developed when I was leafing through his sketch books. Recognising that some of the sketches were already changing colour or fading and the pages getting loose, I wanted to save this part of his work. Because there were so many sketches I decided to select these four pubs and make a book for each of them.
Some of the sketches in these books appeared in the book, Walter’s Doolin – Pub Drawings, published in 2011 by Red Fox Press, Achill Island, Co. Mayo.
The first licence to trade as a Public House was issued in 1832.
My Father and mother, Gus and Doll, took over the business in 1958 from my grandparents Susan and John. Thus my twin sister was named after Nana and I was named after Granda. Business was very slow in both the grocery shop and the bar, so Gus put a traveling shop on the road. His route covert 365 house calls per week. This extensive connection with communities from Liscannor to Doolin enabled business when in the late 60-70’s jobs became available in Shannon Airport.
The advent of renewed interest in Traditional and Folk music throughout the 60’s and 70’s put Doolin and O’Connor’s on the Global map. The development continues in the playing of Irish music particularly with the younger generation, thankfully. Trad Music is now “Cool” and long may it last.
My brother Noel [RIP], sisters Susan and Terry and I myself all worked with our parents, visiting cousins, locals and friends to manage the bar which was always full of Locals and Visitors. It was a wonderful time, and to see the growth in jobs locally in the visitor hospitality is encouraging, but we must continue to ensure its protection.
What started out as a small place developed over the years into a wonderful place with many rooms to ...