Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Published: Evening Herald, December 2007


Shelbourne Hotel, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2

Baaam! Didn’t see that one coming, did you? It’s Friday night and I’m chilling in Ireland’s most exclusive bar. Finally, it somehow feels like I’m amongst my own kind. Before I order a drink though, I’ve got a few old scores to settle. I press the mobile phone to my ear. It’s ringing. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Evening Herald pub review – June 2007


It’s Sunday afternoon. Sunlight is sneaking in through McDaid’s arched Victorian windows and me and Ollie are having a ridiculous conversation about God knows what. The pints are flowing. There are two middle aged couples at the tables on either side of us. It’s obvious both couples are listening in. The couple to our right are English. They’re extremely middle class, and aren’t sure whether weighing in on an argument uninvited is quite the done thing. The couple to our left are American. The husband sticks out his hand. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Evening Herald, November 2008


6 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2

flannerysWhy do I despise Flannery’s pub on Camden Street? A candid response to that question could fill a 12-page pull-out supplement. Suffice to say: Drunk off-duty Gardai. Drunk off-duty nurses. Drunk off-duty Gardai copulating with drunk off-duty nurses. Fake tan. Peroxide. Rugby jerseys. DJs with mid-Atlantic accents who say things like “It’s Saturday night in Flannery’s and the paarty is just getting staarted…” Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Evening Herald, March 2010

T.P. Smiths

10 Jervis Street, Dublin 1

tp smiths
T.P. Smiths on Saturday is where you end up when you thought you wanted to shop, but it turned out all you wanted was a pint of beer and a chicken fajita. It’s airy and comfortable and there’s football on the telly. Sure where else would you be?

If straight men and gay women have one thing in common, I think, it’s that we both detest shopping. (Well, no. If straight men and gay women have one thing is common, it’s something else entirely. But if we have a second thing in common…) Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Evening Herald, Septemer 2006

The International Bar

Wicklow Street, Dublin 2

Perusing the Sunday papers in the International Bar, something suddenly strikes me. I hate the Sunday papers. The first six days of the week, newspaper articles tend to begin with sentences like ‘The government has announced…’, ‘Sources in Timbuktu report…’ or ‘Grave robbers in Ballyjamesduff have stolen…’

But come Sunday, all that goes out the window. Suddenly, it’s all ‘Is Bebo turning our children into zombies?’ or ‘Can worrying about my bum give me swine flu?’ The answer, invariably, is ‘Almost certainly not… But here’s 2,000 words and a photograph of Jennifer Aniston (for some reason) just for the hell of it’. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: October 1 2009


the baggot inn
Aidan is buzzing. He’s like a kid in a toyshop. I’m just about managing to keep my excitement under wraps. We’re sitting in Dublin’s first and, to my knowledge, only pull-your-own-pint venue. Aidan thinks it’s amazing. Pulling our own pints. God above. What next? I’m not quite as enthusiastic. They’re making me do something that’s normally done for me by someone else?

Yippee, when we’re finished here, can I clean the toilets? Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Evening Herald, April 2009


Doyles Corner, Phibsboro

It’s Thursday night in Doyles and the hits just keep on coming: Westlife. Kylie. 2 Unlimited. Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl segueing directly into the Saw Doctors N17. This is Phibsboro Uncovered. Yip, it doesn’t get much wilder than this. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Evening Herald, September 3 2009


471 South Circular, Rialto

The Bird is a big old barn of a pub in Rialto. The barman sells us raffle tickets with our pints. What’s it in aid of, we ask? He looks back blankly. “Draw is at half ten,” he replies. Fair enough. It doesn’t get much more Dublin than this.

“This is the kind of place I like,” says Aidan, cradling his pint. “Local bar, you know?” Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Evening Herald, December 2009


18 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2

Anseo on Lower Camden Street: Not the kinda place you return to after a long absence and think – Wow, I love what they’ve done! There are yellowed concert posters on the walls, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry on the sound system and a pervasive stench of incense.

If it’s 1980s Student Union charm you’re looking for, well, you’re in the right place.

I pay a fiver for a pint of Miller (no Budweiser unfortunately) and stand by the back wall. I immediately get that shitty feeling you get when you’re in a crowded bar on your own. Then there’s a tap on my shoulder and I get that shitty feeling you get when you run into an old friend unexpectedly.

“Butsey!” he says.

Christ, I hate that.

Last I heard of Fergus he was jetting off saving the world somewhere with Amnesty International. But that was then. This is now. “Fuck human rights, dude,” he says. “There’s a recession on. It’s every man for himself!”

He tells me he found love in Thailand. With a woman? “Of course with a fucking woman,” he snaps. “Why does everyone have to ask?” The way he tells it, it was a deep, spiritual connection. “I left my heart in Koh Samui,” he says. “I really did.”

His brother Derek tells it a little differently. “Fergie brought a little bit of Koh Samui home with and all,” he sniggers. Oh really? “Fuckin’ right,” says Derek. “He came home with a cock on him like a Lion Bar.”

For the love of Christ.

Fergus isn’t having this. “For all youse know,” he protests. “I coulda got that in Dublin.” “Yeah right,” says Derek. “Last Irish box you saw the inside of had a number 5 on the lid.”

We both crease ourselves laughing.

Went through the Magic Door, did he?

“Special offer at Saver’s Supermarket, wha?”

I tell Daniel he’s giving his brother a very bad press. “You don’t know the half of it, Butsy,” he says. As it transpires, a week after his return from Thailand, Fergus received a long-distance telephone call.

“It’s his mott in Thailand, right? Tells him she’s up the duff! Tells him she needs some money to sort it out!” Fergus grumbles, but doesn’t actually contradict what his brother says. “So Fergus tells me Da. And me Da says were ya using johnnies, son? And me brother says, yeah. I definitely used johnnies with this one Da…”

What a family.

“So me Da gets the girl’s number and he rings back. He says he’s delighted. Says himself and me Ma can’t wait to welcome their first grandchild. Says they’ll have to fly over to Thailand for the birth.”

What did she say to that?

“She calls back two days later. Says she isn’t up the duff at all. Never was. It was all a, whaddiyacall, a phantom pregnancy.”

I laugh, but I get the feeling I laugh a little too heartily. “I’m going back there in a couple of month,” Fergus shrugs. “Got to sort out the bank loan first.” She sounds like quite a character, I offer. “She is,” says Fergus proudly. “She certainly is.”

Published: Evening Herald, January 2010


South William Street, Dublin 2

It’s Saturday night in South William and my almost-long-lost school friend Gerry the Bonnet is offering crash course reminder of why we drifted apart in the first place.

Suffering mother, how had I forgotten? He’s the most boring man in Ireland. Christ, you could drive a bus through some of the gaps in those sentences.

“I told the girlfriend… Tracy…. Tracy is the girlfriend,” he drones.

I know. Read the rest of this entry »