Dublin: 11 °C Friday 20 May, 2022

Brennan’s in Bundoran is one of the best old school pubs in the country

If it’s not broke…

brennans2 Source: the Irish Pub Film Facebook

BRENNAN’S CRITERION BAR in Bundoran, Donegal has been around for over 115 years at this stage – and it shows absolutely no signs of changing.

It’s all the better a pint spot because of that, too.

Run by sisters Patricia and Nan Brennan, the pub is somewhat unique in that it’s so old school that it completely bans TV, music and swearing.

It had a starring role in The Irish Pub documentary shown on RTÉ

inside Source: Facebook

The Boston Globe wrote a glowing feature on it earlier this year


It was a shock to the system for the visiting American writer:

There are not a lot of pubs in Ireland run by older women. There are even fewer where there’s no TV. There are still fewer that won’t allow a song now and then.
And until I walked into Brennan’s Criterion Bar on Main Street in this seaside Donegal town, I was unaware that there was an Irish pub where, beyond the prohibitions on TV and music, swearing is not allowed.

There’s no WIFI, telly or kitchen – just a proper bar with a small room next to it

brennans34 Source: Crafted Ireland Facebook

It’s one of Donegal’s hidden pub treasures

discover Source: Discover Bundoran Facebook

Where the pub grub looks like this

stacked Source: Facebook

On people wanting them to show matches on a TV, the sisters told The Globe:

We tell them they can go watch the match or the race someplace else and then come back here and talk about it.

You don’t win a reputation over more than a century for nothing

brennansagain Source: Laura Davies

A timeless classic.

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About the author:

David Elkin

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